French officials alluded that President Joe Biden is a backstabber. Earlier, the Biden administration canceled a $40 billion nuclear submarine deal that France signed with Australia.
Instead of the French-Australia deal, the US, Australia, and the United Kingdom announced a trilateral security deal in the Indo-Pacific region. The new agreement includes an 18-month review of how Australia will acquire new nuclear submarines.
Biden is a Backstabber, So France Cancels US Gala
As a result of the aborted deal with Australia, France canceled a scheduled gala at Washington DC. Paris hurriedly scrapped the “240th Anniversary of the Battle of the Capes” event scheduled for this Friday.
The event will supposedly take place at the French Embassy and aboard a French frigate docked in Baltimore. French officials planned the event to commemorate the French Navy’s assistance to the US Revolutionary Forces’ fight for independence in 1781. Instead, France’s top naval officer headed home to Paris.
Trilateral Agreement Without France
Earlier, the government of France worked with Australia since 2016 to help the latter replace its aging submarine fleet. French contractors will construct and turn over $40 billion worth of nuclear submarines to Australia.
The original deal with the French shipbuilder Naval Group amounted to 12 submarines and was signed in 2019. Between 2016 and 2019 Australia and France wrangled over budgets and delays.
The contract’s total worth is between $40-50 billion. As late as August, Australia’s defense and foreign ministers confirmed the French deal remains active
However, the new deal with the UK and the US scuttled all that, leaving the French government empty-handed after working on the deal for more than five years.
Instead of a deal, the new partnership means that the Australians will build the submarines themselves. The sudden turnaround brought a surprising ending to the contract between Paris and Sydney.
French Foreign Minister Alludes That Biden is a Backstabber For Breaking France and Australia Deal
As a result of Australia’s sudden change of heart in the face of US involvement, French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian called out the US.
Specifically, he alluded that Biden is a backstabber for causing Australia to renege on a done deal. “It's a stab in the back. We created a relationship of trust with Australia and that trust has been broken,” he lamented.
Last Wednesday, the French embassy condemned the move. It said the decision to exclude France from the contract showed “a lack of coherence that France can only regret”.
Australia’s decision to cut off France from the submarine deal dealt French President Emmanuel Macron a lot of damage. Macron worked hard over the last few years to establish a French role in the Indo-Pacific region.
Australia Confirms New Deal Excludes France
Meanwhile, the Australian government confirmed the move to shut out France from the new deal with the US and UK. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that his country will now depend on US and UK expertise to build US-powered nuclear vessels. This means that the deal to purchase French-built submarines is now underwater.
In a Thursday joint statement, Morrison and Australian Defense Minister Peter Dutton justified their new deal. In particular, they said the decision to cut France out of the submarine contact “was not taken lightly” and that they will still work together.
“Our partnership with the Government of France and Naval Group on the Attack class conventional submarine program would have resulted in the most capable and lethal conventional submarine ever built.
We look forward to continuing to work closely and positively with our French counterparts. France is a key friend and partner to Australia and the Indo-Pacific,” they said in a statement.
US Betrays France Once Again
Meanwhile, Philippe Etienne, France's ambassador to the US, suggested that the US once again betrayed France's historic loyalty. Specifically, he pointed to the French Navy's defeat of the British Navy at the Chesapeake Bay in 1781.
Historians believe this is one of the most decisive battles of the American Revolutionary War. “Interestingly, exactly 240 years ago the French Navy defeated the British Navy in the Chesapeake Bay, paving the way for the victory at Yorktown and the independence of the United States,” he tweeted.
Watch the CNBC television video reporting that France angry after US strikes deal with Australia for nuclear subs:
Do you agree with the French Foreign Minister Le Drian that alluded that President Joe Biden is a backstabber?
In addition, do you think the US should have honored Australia’s deal with France and stayed out of it? Or, should France blame Australia for the whole thing instead?
Share your thoughts below.