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HomePoliticsFrance to send ambassador back after submarine dispute

France to send ambassador back after submarine dispute

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France will send back its ambassador to Australia to fix relations with Canberra, the French foreign minister said.

Paris withdrew its envoy from Australia after the latter canceled a deal with France in favor of an accord with the US and Britain.

Moreover, France accused its allies of betrayal when Australia chose the deal with the US and Britain.

The deal was building nuclear-powered submarines with US and British tech instead of a multi-billion dollar French program.

However, while France wanted to reconcile with the United States, it froze its relations with Australia.

“I have now asked our ambassador to return to Canberra with two missions,” said Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

“to help redefine the terms of our relationship with Australia in the future,”

“and to defend our interests in the concrete implementation of the Australian decision to cancel future submarines,” he added.

France had looked upon partnering with Australia back in 2016 as the foundation of its Indo-Pacific policy.

However, French officials say they feel Canberra stabbed them in the back.

They said that Canberra gave them no warnings despite having launched its deal-switch plan 18 months earlier.

Le Drian said Paris had reviewed the relations with Australia, as the submarine deal was part of a larger strategy.

“Starting afresh in our relations will have no impact on our determination to remain engaged in the Pacific,” he added.

Australia said it regrets recalling the ambassador, and it values relations with France.

Furthermore, it wants to stay involved with Paris on issues like the Indo-Pacific.

Diplomats said the trust crisis will need some strong actions from Canberra to benefit France’s interest in the region.

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