FRANCE on Thursday denounced a “blow in the back” by the United States and Australia after the two countries, together with Britain, sealed a submarines supply contract under the just-announced trilateral security partnership.
“We had established a relationship of trust with Australia. This trust is betrayed,” French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian told the radio network France Info, adding that the contract is a “blow in the back.”
“It is not over. They will have to give explanations,” he said. “The American behavior worries me. This unilateral and brutal decision is very similar to what Mr. (Donald) Trump was doing.”
Also on Thursday, French Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly called the contract “very bad news for the respect of the given word.”
“In terms of geopolitics and international politics, it is serious,” she told the French public radio service RFI, adding that she is “lucid on the way in which the United States treats its allies.”
In a joint statement issued Wednesday, governments of the United States, Britain and Australia announced the creation of a new trilateral security partnership called “AUKUS,” which will help “significantly deepen cooperation on a range of security and defense capabilities.”
The first initiative under AUKUS will be the delivery of a nuclear-powered submarine fleet for Australia, and the three countries will spend as many as 18 months discussing how this capability will be delivered, according to the statement.