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France speaks of ‘crisis of trust’ as it bristles at US submarine deal

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21.09.2021

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — France’s top diplomat declared Monday that there is a “crisis of trust” in the United States after a Pacific defense deal stung France and left Europe wondering about its longtime ally across the Atlantic.

France canceled meetings with British and Australian officials and is trying to rally EU allies behind its push for more European sovereignty after being humiliated by a major Pacific defense pact orchestrated by the US Speaking to reporters in New York, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said European countries won’t let Washington leave them behind when shaping its foreign policy,

Le Drian reiterated complaints that his country was sandbagged by the submarine deal between the US, Britain and Australia, which led to France losing a contract to sell subs to Australia. Washington, London and Canberra say the deal bolsters their commitment to the Indo-Pacific region, and it has widely been seen as an effort to counter an increasingly assertive China.

But Le Drian, who is in New York to represent France at the UN General Assembly, said it was a “brutal, unexpected and unexplained breach” of a contract – and a relationship.

The US, Australia and Britain insisted that the diplomatic crisis wouldn’t affect their longer-term relations with France, even after Paris recalled its ambassadors to the US and Australia for the first time in history because of the deal.

“There is a crisis of trust beyond the fact that the contract is being broken, as if Europe itself didn’t have any interest to defend in that region,” Le Drian........

© The Times of Israel


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