France disappointed by Australia's submarine deal pullout

Paris excluded from new Australia-UK-US alliance

16 September, 13:59

    (ANSAmed) - PARIGI, 16 SET - Australia's decision to build nuclear submarines in a new partnership with the US and Great Britain is "deplorable", France said Thursday.

    A statement issued noted that the decision ran counter to the "letter and the spirit" of cooperation between France and Australia.

    The US, Great Britain, and Australia on Wednesday launched a security partnership for the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, especially to contain any threats from China.

    The partnership, the White House said in a statement, will focus on security, defense, information and technology sharing, cyber capacities, and artificial intelligence.

    The alliance will be called AUKUS, an acronym of the three countries.

    The stated aim is to contribute to supporting peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region and China was not mentioned in the official communication.

    However, most US media noted that the alliance is seen as a move to contain and counter Chinese threats in the area.

    The new security partnership will enable Australia to get nuclear-propelled submarines, a White House source said in a conference call with the media.

    Australia prime minister Scott Morrison confirmed that the country will not finalise a 90-billion-dollar (Australian dollars, equal to 66 billion USD) agreement with France for submarine supply and will instead build its own nuclear-propelled ones using US and UK technology.

    He added that the decision not to go forward with plans to purchase the French Attack Class submarines was due to need and not a betrayal of any sort.

    The EU noted that it had not been informed of the US-UK-Australia alliance and that it was currently in contact with its partners to find out more and to discuss the implications with member states, said spokesman for European External Action Service Peter Stano. (ANSAmed).

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