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Australia PM understands France’s ‘disappointment’ over submarine deal

CM 19/09/2021


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Australia defended its scrapping of a deal for French submarines on Sunday, saying the government had raised concerns to Paris for months, as a new deal with the United States and Britain continued to fuel a multinational diplomatic crisis.
“I don’t regret the decision to put Australia’s national interest first,” said Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Australia ditched the 2016 deal with France’s Naval Group to build a fleet of conventional submarines, announcing on Thursday a plan to build at least eight nuclear-powered ones with US and British technology in a trilateral security partnership.

The move infuriated France, a NATO ally of the United States and Britain, prompting it to recall its ambassadors from Washington and Canberra. It also riled China, the major rising power in the Indo-Pacific region.
Britain’s new security pact with Australia and the United States shows its readiness to be “hard-headed” in defending its own interests, newly appointed Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said in an article published on Sunday.
“This is about more than foreign policy in the abstract, but delivering for people across the UK and beyond by partnering with like-minded countries to build coalitions based on shared values and shared interests,” Truss wrote in the Sunday Telegraph newspaper.
“We will be working closer together to use a wide range of cutting-edge technologies, from nuclear-powered submarines at first and then looking at artificial intelligence and quantum computing. It shows our readiness to be hard-headed in defending our interests and challenging unfair practices and malign acts.”
Truss said it also showed Britain’s commitment to security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

 he French Embassy is seen after it was announced France decided to recall its ambassadors in the United States and Australia for consultations after Australia struck a deal with the US and Britain which ended a $40 billion French-designed submarine deal, in Washington, US, September 17, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/GERSHON PEAKS) he French Embassy is seen after it was announced France decided to recall its ambassadors in the United States and Australia for consultations after Australia struck a deal with the US and Britain which ended a $40 billion French-designed submarine deal, in Washington, US, September 17, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/GERSHON PEAKS)

Morrison said he understood France’s disappointment over the cancellation of the order – valued at $40 billion in 2016 and reckoned to cost much more today – but reiterated that Australia must always take decisions in its best interest.
“This is an issue that had been raised by me directly some months ago and we continued to talk those issues through, including by defense ministers and others,” Morrison told a briefing.
The new trilateral deal has put Washington in an unprecedented diplomatic crisis with France that analysts say could do lasting damage to the US alliances with France and Europe, also throwing into doubt the united front that US President Joe Biden has been seeking to forge against China’s growing power.
Paris has called the cancellation a stab in the back, with Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian saying relations with the United States and Australia were in a “crisis.”
Morrison said he had informed France about the new deal at 08:30 p.m. on Wednesday. He, Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced it at 7 a.m. Canberra time on Thursday. Defense Minister Peter Dutton said Australia was “upfront, open and honest” with France about its concerns.
“Suggestions that the concerns hadn’t been flagged by the Australian government, just defy, frankly, what’s on the public record and certainly what they’ve said publicly over a long period of time,” Dutton told Sky News.
He declined to reveal the costs of the new pact, saying only that “it’s not going to be a cheap project.”

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CM

The host of Coffee Mouth Scare Crow Show and CEO of 452 Impact, Inc. Here is food for thought. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." John 3:16 "For God so love ed the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall be saved."

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