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French minister accuses US and Australia of 'lies and duplicity' as diplomatic crisis worsens

A French minister has accused the US and Australia of "lies" and "duplicity" amid a worsening dip...
Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

09.19 19 Sep 2021


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French minister accuses US and...

French minister accuses US and Australia of 'lies and duplicity' as diplomatic crisis worsens

Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

09.19 19 Sep 2021


Share this article


A French minister has accused the US and Australia of "lies" and "duplicity" amid a worsening diplomatic row between the countries.

Jean-Yves Le Drian also accused the UK of being in the "American lap".

Paris has reacted with fury after the Australians pulled out of a multi-billion euro deal for the French to supply them with a new fleet of submarines.

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Instead, Australia, the US and UK formed a new security pact to develop and deploy a new fleet of nuclear-powered submarines.

It adds to the western military presence in the Pacific region, and is believed to be a response to China's growing military presence.

However, Australia's surprise cancellation of the major submarine contract with France has provoked a furious response from the French government.

They've made the unprecedented decision to recall France's ambassadors to Australia and the US in protest.

It's been reported that France was only told of the new deal hours before it become public.

In an interview with the France 2 TV station, France's foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said: "There have been lies, there has been duplicity, there has been a major break of trust, there has been contempt, so it's not going well between us, not at all.

"We're recalling our ambassadors to try to understand, but also to show to our former partner countries that we have very strong discontent - really a serious crisis between us."

He also suggested Britain was a "third wheel" in the deal and ongoing row.

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrisson, meanwhile, has defended the new security pact.

He said: "Of course it's a matter of great disappointment to the French government, so I understand their disappointment.

"But at the same time, Australia like any sovereign nation must always take decisions that are in our sovereign national defence interest."

The UK's new foreign secretary Liz Truss has also defended the deal, writing in the Sunday Telegraph that it shows "our readiness to be hard-headed in defending our interests".

Additional reporting by IRN

Main image: This file photograph taken at sea on July 4, 2017, shows a general view of submarine "Le Terrible". Picture by: Pool/ABACA/ABACA/PA Images

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