US and Australia ‘lying’ over security partnership, France said

US and Australia 'lying' over security pact, France said
French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said there had been "lying, duplicity, a major breach of trust and contempt" over the deal. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: France’s foreign minister has accused the US and Australia of lying over a new security partnership that prompted Paris to recall its ambassadors.

Jean-Yves Le Drian also accused Washington and Canberra of “duplicity, a major breach of trust and contempt.”

The pact, which also includes the UK and known as Aukus, will allow Australia to have the technology to build nuclear-powered submarines.

The security pact ended a multibillion-dollar deal France had signed with Australia.

The agreement is widely seen as an effort to counter China’s influence in the contested South China Sea.

France was informed about the security partnership only hours before the public announcement was made.

Mr Le Drian said on Saturday that a “serious crisis” was in progress between the allies.

While speaking to France 2 television, the French foreign minister said: “The fact that for the first time in the history of relations between the United States and France we are recalling our ambassador for consultations is a serious political act, which shows the magnitude of the crisis that exists now between our countries.”

He said the ambassadors from the US and Australia were being recalled to “re-evaluate the situation”.

But Mr Le Drian said France had seen “no need” to recall its ambassador to the UK, as he accused the country of “constant opportunism”.

He added: “Britain in this whole thing is a bit like the third wheel.”

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