by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – France has reacted angrily to Australia’s announcement Wednesday that it will be working with the US and the UK to acquire nuclear-powered submarines for use by the Australian navy, the Washington Times reports.
French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Australia had betrayed France’s trust by suddenly canceling a $90 billion submarine contract to partner with Britain and America instead.
Discussing Australia’s partnership with the US and the UK during an interview with Franceinfo radio, Le Drian said Thursday: “It’s a stab in the back. We had established a trusting relationship with Australia, and this trust was betrayed.”
Australia’s new deal was agreed by US President Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in a partnership to be known as AUKUS, the Times said.
The submarines that the US and the UK will help Australia to acquire will be nuclear-powered, but not nuclear-armed. However, the deal will shore up Australia’s defense in response to the increased threat to democratic countries by China.
In a video conference with Johnson and Morris, President Biden emphasized the importance of France as an ally, the Times reported.
“France, in particular, already has a substantial Indo-Pacific presence and is a key partner and ally in strengthening the security and prosperity of the region,” Biden said. “The United States looks forward to working closely with France and other key countries as we go forward.”
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