Australia regrets French decision to recall envoy after submarine deal with US, UK

Canberra [Australia] (ANI/Sputnik): Australia regrets the French decision to recall its ambassador from the country over Canberra’s withdrawal from the deal with Naval Group on submarines’ supplies, a spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said on Saturday.

On late Friday, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian announced the recall of the country’s ambassadors to the United States and Australia to Paris for consultations due to Canberra’s termination of the submarines contract.
“We note with regret France’s decision to recall its Ambassador to Australia for consultations following the decision on the Attack Class [submarine] project,” the spokeswoman told The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.

According to the spokeswoman, Australia values its relations with France and views it as a key nation in ensuring stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

“We look forward to engaging with France again on our many issues of shared interest, based on shared values,” the spokeswoman added.

On Wednesday, Australia, the UK and the US announced a defence partnership called AUKUS, with the initial task of US and UK backing of Australia’s bid to acquire nuclear-propelled submarines. The new defensive pact forced Canberra to give up on a $66 billion contract with France to develop 12 state-of-the-art conventionally powered attack submarines.

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