Submarine row: France cancels defense summit with UK

France angry over scrapped AUKUS Indo-Pacific deal

20 September, 12:27

    (ANSAmed) - PARIS, SEP 20 - A summit of French and British defense ministers originally scheduled this week has been cancelled, reports said on Sunday night.

    The cancellation, French State broadcaster France Televisions said on Monday, was decided at France's request. After Australia and the United States, France is now directing its anger at the United Kingdom, the third party involved in the Indo-Pacific AUKUS alliance that excluded Paris and caused the interruption of a multibillion contract to provide French submarines to Canberra, in favor of US-made nuclear submarines.

    Ben Wallace, the British defense minister, and his French counterpart Florence Parly were supposed to hold a bilateral meeting in London and then intervene at the French-British council. The heads of the armed forces from both countries were meant to be present. The co-president Peter Ricketts, a former national security adviser of the United Kingdom, has confirmed that the summit "was postponed indefinitely".

    "The idea is to take stock of our relations, trying to see the perspectives: this is the reason why I was received by the minister and by the president of the Republic", the French ambassador to the US, Philippe Etienne, told RTL. He was recalled for consultations and received yesterday by President Emmanuel Macron and Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

    US President Joe Biden asked to speak to French head of State Emmanuel Macron: "There will be a telephone conversation in the incoming days", said French Government's spokesperson Gabriel Attal on Sunday. France would ask for a "clarification", Attal added. British Premier Boris Johnson stressed the "immense importance" of the relationship between the United Kingdom and France and London's ineradicable love for France. (ANSAmed).

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