France Recalls Ambassadors From US, Australia For Consultations Over AUKUS - Le Drian

PARIS (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 18th September, 2021) French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian announced on Friday the recall of the country's ambassadors to the United States and Australia to Paris for consultations due to Canberra's termination of the submarine contract.

On Wednesday, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States announced a defense 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, as the defensive alliance promises to enhance Australia's fleet with nuclear-powered submarines. Le Drian referred to the deal as "a knife in the back," and the French Embassy in Washington canceled a reception set for Friday to celebrate the US-French alliance dating back to the American War of Independence.

"At the request of the President of the Republic, I have decided to immediately recall two of our ambassadors to the United States and Australia to Paris for consultations," Le Drian said in a statement.

"This exceptional decision is justified by the special seriousness of the statements made on September 15 by Australia and the United States," the minister stressed.