IU-Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has described the actions of the United States, Australia and Great Britain against France in a dispute over a failed submarine deal as “unacceptable”. “There are many unanswered questions that remain to be answered,” von der Leyen said in an interview with US broadcaster CNN, excerpts of which were published Monday on the online service Twitter. Last week, France expressed displeasure over Canberra’s withdrawal from a multi-billion-dollar submarine deal.
“We want to know what happened and why,” insisted the president of the EU Commission. The full interview should be published Monday evening.
The reason for the unusually fierce dispute between the allies is the establishment of a new security alliance for the Indo-Pacific between the United States, Great Britain and Australia. This prompted the Australian government to abandon the long-term submarine deal with France and buy US nuclear submarines instead.
Paris then called back its ambassadors from Canberra and Washington for consultations. Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian complained about a “serious breach of trust”. France’s Secretary of State for Europe Clement Beaune indicated that the case could jeopardize trade talks between Australia and the European Union.
To quell France’s anger over the broken deal, the Allies recently adopted a conciliatory tone. A French government spokesman said US President Joe Biden asked to speak to his aide Emmanuel Macron. The call will come in the coming days.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke of his country’s “undying love” for France, and Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Warnaby Joyce recalled Australian soldiers who fought on the side of France in both World Wars.
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