Australia hopes to overcome its crisis with France with the return of the French ambassador
Sydney (Australia), October 7 (EFE). Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Thursday he is confident that the return of the French ambassador to Australia will help overcome the crisis caused by the cancellation of millions of dollars in mid-September. A US dollar contract for the construction of twelve submarines was awarded to France.
The day before the French Assembly, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian announced the return of Ambassador Jean-Pierre Thibault to Australia, with the aim of “helping redefine the terms of the future relationship” between the two countries. To “vigorously defend” French interests in the process of canceling the submarine purchase.
Two weeks ago, the French ambassador to the United States, Philippe Etienne, returned to Washington.
Both were called for consultations in Paris after Australia unexpectedly decided in mid-September to cancel a multi-million dollar contract to buy 12 conventional submarines from France in favor of the United States and the United Kingdom, which provide nuclear propulsion technology.
Morrison celebrated Thibault’s return and stressed that “the relationship between Australia and France is more than a decade,” referring to the purchase of submarines from France worth more than 65.55 billion dollars (57.727 million euros).
The Australian president, whose government has spent about $2.4 billion on a diesel-electric submarine project commissioned by the French company Naval Group, declined to give figures on how much he would have to pay to cancel the contract.
Stressing that Australia still has defense contracts with France and the European Union amounting to about $23,315 million (20166 million euros), Morrison insisted that the French state “has a real presence in the Indo-Pacific” and a “long-term commitment”. Australia to work on matters of common interest.
The cancellation of the contract, which became known shortly after the announcement of a defense agreement between the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, the focus of which was the construction of nuclear submarines in the oceanic country, angered France, which was considered “deceived”. EFE
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