France sends its ambassador back to Australia after furious row over $90billion submarine deal
France will send its ambassador back to Canberra after he was pulled out of Australia in protest when a $90billion deal to buy French submarines was scrapped.
Jean-Pierre Thebault was told to return to France in September after Australia signed a new submarine deal with the United States and United Kingdom as part of the AUKUS alliance.
But foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told French parliament on Thursday (AEDT) he has asked the ambassador to return to Canberra with two missions: ‘to define our relationship with Australia in the future … and firmly defend our interests in the implementation of Australia’s decision to terminate the submarine program’.
Mr Morrison flew to France in June to meet with Mr Macron (pictured) but diplomatic relations have slumped after Australia reneged on a $90billion deal to buy French submarines
President Emmanuel Macron reacted furiously to Australia’s announcement on September 15 that it was scrapping its submarine contract with France in favour of a new one negotiated in secret with the US and Britain.
The French foreign minister accused Australia of back-stabbing and the United States of betrayal, calling the move reminiscent of the unilateralist attitude of Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump.
Paris recalled its envoys to both Australia and the United States over the furore.