France recalls US and Australia envoys over submarine deal


France has recalled its ambassadors to the United States and Australia for consultations, in a backlash over a submarine deal.

Australia said on Saturday it also regrets France’s decision, adding that it values its relationship with France and will keep engaging with Paris on many other issues.

A spokesperson for the foreign ministry said in a statement, “We note with regret France’s decision to recall its Ambassador to Australia.

“Australia values its relationship with France, we look forward to engaging with France again on our many issues of shared interest, based on shared values.”

The recalls from the United States and Australia, key allies of France, are unprecedented.

Earlier on Friday, a top French diplomat spoke of a crisis in relations with the US.

He would not speculate on the effects the situation would have on France’s relationship with the US.

“There’s a crisis,” he stressed.

A White House official said, that the US regrets France’s decision and will continue to be engaged in the coming days to resolve differences between the two countries.

France has pushed for several years for a European strategy for boosting economic, political and defence ties in the region stretching from India and China to Japan and New Zealand. The European Union unveiled this week its plan for the Indo-Pacific.

However, French diplomat said Australia never mentioned to France before its will to shift to nuclear-powered submarines, including during a meeting between Macron and Morrison in Paris on June 15.

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