France and Australia had earlier signed an agreement to buy submarines. Australia’s contract was to buy state-of-the-art ships from France. But it froze Australia without warning. Soon after, they reached an agreement to buy a submarine from the United States.
France says Australia has canceled an agreement with them to buy an American submarine. French Foreign Minister Jean-Wesley Drain said the move was “unacceptable” and that President Emmanuel Macron had called for the recall of ambassadors from both countries.
In 2016, Australia began moving to buy submarines from France. The contract was signed and proceedings were commenced. But on the 15th of this month a new submarine agreement was signed between the United States and Australia. Australia subsequently terminated its contract with France. This is what infuriated France.
Australia is buying submarines with the aim of strengthening security in the Indo-Pacific region. They say it is to counter the Chinese threat. But France says it will not accept the cancellation of the agreement between the allies and the implementation of another agreement. The new agreement between Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom was announced by US President Joe Biden yesterday.
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The United States will deliver nuclear-powered submarines to Australia. Australia is a nuclear-armed country. Therefore, it is a deal that benefits them the most. Australia and France have already signed a deal worth 5,000 billion Australian dollars. The new contract has been canceled.
The United States has said it regrets France’s withdrawal of its ambassadors. White House sources said they would intervene to resolve the issues. The US Secretary of Defense contacted the French Secretary of Defense by phone. Withdrawal of ambassadors is the last protest between countries. But the world was shocked when France took that step in the first place.
France no longer has the opportunity to interact directly with the United States and Australia. If there are no ambassadors, they will have to intervene with the help of a third country. At the same time, it is reassuring that the United States and Australia have not recalled their ambassadors to France. If the dispute escalates, the two countries may recall their ambassadors. Negotiations are underway to prevent the situation from escalating.