French ambassador to Australia blasts sub deal with US: 'Way you treat your allies does resonate'

French ambassador to Australia blasts sub deal with US: 'Way you treat your allies does resonate'
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The French ambassador to Australia on Saturday blasted the submarine deal between Australia and the U.S. weeks after controversy erupted over the agreement.

The U.S., Australia and the United Kingdom announced a defense pact in September, with the U.S. promising Australia nuclear-powered submarines. The agreement angered France, as it canceled a deal France and Australia had been working on. 

“I don’t understand how it was possible to commit such a lie. I don’t understand how people, several of whom I know, were capable of lying to me ... face to face for 18 months,” Ambassador Jean-Pierre Thebault said in an interview at the French Foreign Ministry with The Associated Press.  


“You could at least have ... had a frank and honest conversation, which never happened,” he said.

The deal, which France views as a huge betrayal, undermined the country’s interest in the Indo-Pacific region, the ambassador said. 

“The way you treat your allies does resonate in the region,” Thebault said. “The logic of confrontation is not a good one for the peace and stability of the region. We think that we should act otherwise.”

“Rebuffing a country like France is almost sending a message that there are trusted partners and other partners, which is worrying in a region which needs ... partnership and not antagonism,” he added.

After the U.S. and Australia deal was announced, France pulled its ambassadors from the U.S. and Australia, highlighting the diplomatic issues that were set to arise from the issue. 

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronBiden holds call with European leaders to talk Russia Macron becomes first major Western leader to go to Saudi Arabia since Khashoggi killing Justice for Josephine Baker means restoring her US nationality MORE wouldn’t take his calls, while Macron and President BidenJoe BidenMan sentenced to nearly four years for running scam Trump, Biden PACs Dole in final column: 'Too many of us have sacrificed too much' Meadows says Trump's blood oxygen level was dangerously low when he had COVID-19 MORE did have a discussion following the announcement. 

Thebault said France is talking with other allies in the region such as Japan, India, New Zealand and Korea, according to the AP.