A decision “symbolic”. Guest of the “8 pm” of France 2, on Saturday 18 September, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, said that France’s withdrawal of its ambassadors in the United States and Australia was a form of “to show our former partner countries that there is really a very strong discontent, that there really is a serious crisis between us”. This decision taken on Friday is unprecedented in the face of two historic allies, following the torpedoing of a French submarine contract signed with Australia in 2016, depriving France of 56 billion euros.
US President Joe Biden announced on Wednesday a new Indo-Pacific alliance, a strategic partnership dubbed Aukus, designed to counter China’s growing ambitions in the region. It is a military defense alliance between the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Its aim is to deepen cooperation between the three countries in cyber defense, artificial intelligence and quantum technologies. It includes the supply of US nuclear powered submarines to Australia, effectively excluding French submarines.
“There has been a lie, there has been duplicity, there has been a great breach of trust, there has been contempt, so it is not good between us, it is not good at all, that means there is a crisis.”, hammered the head of French diplomacy. “We call on our ambassadors to try to understand … and it is also a way of reassessing our position to defend our interests in Australia and the United States.”he added. The removal of the French ambassador in London, on the other hand, was deemed unnecessary: “We know your permanent opportunism”he joked a few months after Brexit.
How is it that France did not know about this new alliance? Stating that Emmanuel Macron and Joe Biden had not yet exchanged at this time, neither he nor his American counterpart Antony Blinken, Jean-Yves Le Drian assured that the authorities knew nothing of these negotiations. “an hour” before the announcements. “The draft of the agreement initiated by the United States and Australia was started in a very small committee. I’m not even sure that all the Australian and American ministers knew about it.”, he is stressed.
“We cannot play with alliances like this. We do not treat the main partner, France, with so much brutality and so much unpredictability.”Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Foreign Affairs
in France 2
The chancellor was sparing no words about the new White House tenant, comparing him to his predecessor Donald Trump. “without the tweets”. Joe Biden is doing “quite unbearable solemn declarations” and “The United States is refocusing its fundamental interests”. “They are going back on a series of commitments that they had globally and there is a real link between Afghanistan and what just happened with respect to the agreement with Australia.”, analyzed Jean-Yves Le Drian, referring to the hasty departure of US troops, which resulted in the return to power of the Taliban in the country.
“There are reasons to wonder about the strength of the alliance with the United States. In a true alliance, we talk to each other, we respect each other. That was not the case,” he added. again regretted the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Jean-Yves Le Drian has also ruled that “what just happened” it would weigh on the definition of NATO’s new strategic concept, without, however, evoking a departure from the Atlantic Alliance.
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