Australia Not Regretting Terminating French Contract
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Sunday that he does not regret terminating a contract with France to supply submarines in favor of a deal with the United States, according to a Euronews report.
Photo Insert: "There was a lie, there was duplicity, there was a major breach of trust and there was disdain..." The French appear to be feeling scammed by ScoMo.
The sudden move angered France and prompted Paris to recall its ambassadors to Canberra and Washington.
Morrison said Australia had flagged up doubts over the French subs months ago, and that the US nuclear vessels would serve its interests better in the Indo-Pacific region.
"We formed the view that the capability the attack-class submarines (they) were going to provide was not what Australia needed to protect our sovereign interests," added Morrison.
The French had signed a contract in 2016 for a dozen conventional diesel-electric submarines and the work to make them was already underway.
The deal with the French majority state-owned Naval Group was worth at least €56bn. France recalled its ambassadors to the US and Australia on Saturday, in what officials said was not a reaction to the loss of the contract but the wider betrayal of trust.
"This is very symbolic," said Jean Yves Le Drian, French Foreign Minister in a TV interview.
"There was a lie, there was duplicity, there was a major breach of trust and there was disdain, so things are not going well between us, not at all. It means that there is a crisis."
Canada 'regrets' diplomatic row with France.
The office of the Australian foreign minister, Marise Payne, had earlier issued a statement expressing Canberra's “regret” over France's withdrawal of its ambassador.
It added: “Australia understands France’s deep disappointment with our decision, which was taken in accordance with our clear and communicated national security interests." France also recalled its ambassador to the United States in a move ordered directly by President Emmanuel Macron.