France Recalls Ambassadors To U.S., Australia Amid Fallout Over Submarine Deal

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French President Emmanuel Macron has ordered that the nation’s ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia be recalled after the two countries signed a deal that will provide Australia with nuclear-powered submarines.

“At the request of President Macron, I have decided to immediately recall our ambassadors to the United States and Australia to Paris for consultations,” Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, said in a statement. “This extraordinary decision reflects the exceptional seriousness of the announcements made on September 15 by Australia and the United States.”

The statement added, “The abandonment of the ocean-class submarine project that Australia and France had been working on since 2016 and the announcement of a new partnership with the United States aimed at studying the possibility of future cooperation on nuclear-powered submarines constitute unacceptable behavior among allies and partners; their consequences affect the very concept we have of our alliances, our partnerships, and the importance of the Indo-Pacific for Europe.”

The New York Times reported that this is “the first time in the history of the long alliance between France and the United States, dating back to 1778, that a French ambassador has been recalled to Paris in this way for consultations.”

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