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French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian delivers stark comments this morning following the Australian decision to scrap its EUR50bn deal with France for up to 12 diesel-electric subs in favour of the construction of nuclear submarines with US and UK help.

  • A statement last night from the Defence and Foreign ministries was measured in its tone, said the "decision contrary [is] to the letter and the spirit of the cooperation which prevailed between France and Australia, based on a relationship of political trust as on the development of an industrial and technological base of defense of very high level in Australia."
  • However, this morning Le Drian went further, saying that "It's a stab in the back. We had established a trusting relationship with Australia, and this trust was betrayed....This is not over. We have contracts. The Australians need to tell us how they're getting out of it....This unilateral, brutal, unforeseeable decision really looks like what Mr. Trump was doing...This move is unacceptable between allies who want to develop a structured Indo-Pacific partnership."