2021-09-18 01:48:41 France Recalls Ambassadors to the United States and Australia in Protest of Submarine Deal
France Recalls Ambassadors to the United States and Australia in Protest of Submarine Deal
He also stated that until Mr. Macron received a letter from Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Wednesday morning informing him that the French submarine deal had been canceled, Australia had made no indication that it would withdraw from the deal.
Australia had asked France in June whether its attack-class submarines were still capable of dealing with the threats they might face, and had accepted French assurances that they were, he said. According to American officials, Australia informed France that the deal was dead as early as June.
Officials in the United States have admitted that they first informed the French on Wednesday morning, hours before Mr. Biden announced the deal. They also claimed that top American officials had attempted, but failed, to schedule meetings with their French counterparts before news of the deal leaked in the Australian and American press — a claim that mirrors the French claim.
In the face of a disastrous situation, both parties were attempting to shift blame. However, it appeared that France had been caught off guard by friends on a critical strategic and economic issue.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the United States’ ambassador to the United Nations, downplayed the damage to the two countries’ relationship in a press conference on Friday, prior to the French government’s recall announcement.
“As the president stated, we work closely with France on shared priorities in the Indo-Pacific region, and we will continue to do so here at the Security Council,” she added. “Good friends have disagreements, but that’s the nature of friendship, and because you’re friends, you can have disagreements while still working on areas of cooperation.”
“We don’t see those tensions changing the nature of our friendship,” she added.
However, there was no sign of words like “cooperation” or any indication that France was ready to declare anything resembling “business as usual” in Paris.