France recalls ambassadors to US, Australia over sub deal
France has recalled its ambassadors to the US and Australia in a dramatic escalation of diplomatic tensions in the row over a nuclear submarine deal as part of the new AUKUS alliance.
The country is understood to be furious after the UK and US announced that they had agreed to help the Australian navy acquire a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines, prompting the cancellation of a £30bn deal for France to supply conventional diesel-electric watercraft.
French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Friday that the “exceptional decision” was justified by the countries’ actions, but he made no mention of recalling the French ambassador to London.
It came as a report suggested that ousted former education secretary Gavin Williamson was being tipped for a knighthood following his departure from the UK government.
The Tory MP, who was widely-criticised in his Cabinet post, is expected to feature in Boris Johnson’s next honours list, according to sources for TheTelegraph.
Gavin Williamson ‘tipped for knighthood’ following departure from Cabinet
Former education secretary Gavin Williamson is reportedly being tipped for a knighthood in Boris Johnson’s next honours list following his departure from the Cabinet this week.
Our reporter, Zaina Alibhai, has the full story below:
The move is likely to anger schools, parents and unions who called for his resignation.
Recalling envoys justified by ‘unacceptable AUKUS behaviour’, French minister says
The decision to recall France’s ambassadors to the US and Australia is justified by the “unacceptable behaviour” of the AUKUS alliance, a French minister has said.
In a statement, French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said that he was acting on the instructions of the country’s president Emmanuel Macron when he made the shock move on Friday.
France is angry over an announcement this week that the UK and US had agreed to help the Australian navy acquire for the first time a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines, cancelling a £30bn deal for France to supply submarines in the process.
“This exceptional decision is justified by the exceptional gravity of the announcements made on 15 September by Australia and the United States,” Mr Le Drian said.
He added that their actions constituted “unacceptable behaviour between allies and partners, whose consequences directly affect the vision we have of our alliances, of our partnerships and of the importance of the Indo-Pacific for Europe”.
Although the minister made no mention of recalling the French ambassador to London, it is unlikely that the UK will completely escape the diplomatic fallout.
Boris Johnson is reported to have brought together US president Joe Biden and Australian prime minister Scott Morrison at the G7 summit in Cornwall in June ahead of the deal.
France recalls US and Australian ambassadors in protest at AUKUS submarine deal
France has taken the dramatic step of recalling its ambassadors to the US and Australia in protest at being pushed out of a multibillion-pound submarine deal.
Diplomatic relations between France and countries in the new AUKUS alliance have been strained after Australia revealed that it would pull out of a contract with the French government to supply defence submarines in favour of a rival deal with the UK and US.
Our reporter, Helen Elfer, has the full story below:
The decision was made by French president Emmanuel Macron
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