French defence minister Sebastien Lecornu said the settlement 'permits us to turn a page' on the diplomatic row over Australia's decision last year to cancel its purchase of French diesel-powered submarines, worth a total of 35 billion euros, in favour of a strategic pact with the US and UK in which it will receive technology to build nuclear submarines.
Tensions between France and Australia on Tuesday reached their highest point yet over the recent cancellation by Canberra of a multi-billion French submarine sale, after Australian media published a leaked phone text message by President Emmanuel Macron to Australian PM Scott Morrison, in what appeared to be an attempt to imply Macron knew, contrary to what Paris has said, of looming problems with the deal.
After a phone conversation on Wednesday, US President Joe Biden and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron appeared to have at least partly defused tensions over the new military pact between Australia, the UK and the US which entailed the cancellation of Australia’s purchase of 12 French submarines worth 56 billion euros. In this op-ed article, Mediapart’s international affairs specialist François Bougon argues that the diplomatic crisis of recent days should prompt a re-think of France’s global role and an end to the notion of its grandeur and exceptionalism, a heritage handed down from Charles de Gaulle.
As French government anger mounts over Australia's announcement this month that it has abandoned an agreement to buy 12 submarines from France in favour of a defence and weapons pact with the US and UK, French European affairs minister said Paris is ready to block ongoing EU talks for a trade deal with Australia, which he called 'a country in which we no longer trust'.
Paris has called off a meeting due in London this week between France's armed forces minister and her British counterpart amid a heightening row over Australia’s decision to abandon a deal to buy 12 French diesel-electric submarines in favour of a pact with the US and UK.
The announcement of a US-UK-Australia defence pact to face China's growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region has brought an abrupt and unexpected end to a 56-billion-euro deal signed in 2016 for the sale by France to Australia of 12 submarines, which will now instead be built in the US and UK.