Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday that his country had raised the possibility of canceling a 2016 submarine deal with a French company that held talks with French President Emmanuel Macron last June.
Australian reports respond to French allegations that at least eight nuclear submarines should be built instead after Morrison rescinds a $ 40 billion contract with the Navy to build conventional submarines. Technology. US and British, after the conclusion of the tripartite security alliance.
Morrison confirmed that the decision had been announced to France prior to the announcement, but Paris denied it. On Friday, Morrison acknowledged the damage to relations between Australia and France, but told Macron in June that Australia had changed its mind about the deal and needed to make another decision.
“I made clear our concern about the ability of conventional submarines to cope with the new strategic environment we face during dinner in Paris,” Morrison said in a radio statement. “I made it clear that this is an issue for Australia to decide, in our national interest,” he added.
Crisis between Australia and France comes at a time when the United States and its allies are seeking additional support in Asia and the Pacific amid fears of China’s growing influence.
France is set to seize leadership of the European Union, which on Thursday unveiled its strategy for the Indo-Pacific region, a trade agreement with Taiwan and a promise to use more ships to open maritime routes.
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