France to send ambassador back to Australia amid Aukus row

France to send ambassador back to Australia amid Aukus row
Scott Morrison (right) did not warn Emmanuel Macron of Australia's plans during a meeting in June. Source: Getty Images
2 Min Read

Daily US Times: France will send its ambassador back to Australia to “redefine” relations, after Australia teamed up with the US and UK to get nuclear submarine, surpassing France.

Last month, Australia formed the security pact with the US and the UK, known as Aukus. The deal aimed at maintaining Western influence in the Asia-Pacific.

That saw Australia end a $65bn deal with France to instead access US nuclear-powered submarine technology.

France called the security deal a “stab in the back”.

Soon after the shock announcement, French president Emmanuel Macron recalled its ambassadors from Canberra and Washington DC in protest.

But while it has sought to mend the rift with Washington, France has continued to freeze out Australia.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said Mr Macron has refused to take his calls. The trade minister of Australia has also been shunned by his French counterpart.

Negotiations over an Australia-EU trade deal were also pushed back last week, in what was widely interpreted as a result of the row.

French officials have said they were blindsided by Australia, which had maintained talks about the submarines from while working to secure an alternative deal.

France made a deal with Australia to build a fleet of conventionally powered submarines for Australia, dating to 2016, was to be a key part of France’s regional engagement.

The returning French ambassador to Australia would also “defend our interests” over the scrapped submarine contract.

You may read: Rare drawings by boxing great Muhammad Ali sell for nearly $1m