France has canceled a meeting with Defense Minister Florence Parly and her British counterpart Ben Wallace. A source in the French Ministry told AFP last night that the meeting, which was scheduled for this week in London, will not take place. The British Ministry of Defense said it could neither confirm nor deny the report.
Wallace is said to “continue to discuss these meetings with his French counterpart”. We continue to maintain close and fruitful defensive relations with France, which remains a staunch ally. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tried to calm the diplomatic row from Sunday night to Monday. On a trip to New York, he told reporters accompanying him that his country’s “love” for France was “indelible”. He also assured reporters present that relations between the UK and France were of “great importance”.
Johnson went on to stress that the strategic partnership signed by the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom – which has fueled the diplomatic crisis with France – is “in no way intended to be a zero-sum game nor is it intended to be a shutdown”. “It’s not something anyone should worry about and certainly not our French friends.”
The cancellation appears to be related to the diplomatic crisis that arose after Australia announced that it would cancel a purchase agreement for French submarines worth more than 30 billion euros in favor of US-made ships. This also created great tension between France and the United Kingdom.
“knife in the back”
The latter country, along with the United States and Australia, is part of the so-called new AUKUS security agreement, according to which the purchase of American submarines is regulated by Australia. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian described the tearing up of the purchase contract as a “knife in the back” and on Saturday spoke of a “serious crisis” and a “major breach of trust”. “lies”, “cheating” and “contempt” the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom.
However, Australia says it has been “candid, open and honest” with France about the country’s concerns about the submarine deal. It could have been too expensive and years behind schedule.
summoned the ambassadors of France
French President Emmanuel Macron and US President Joe Biden will call in the coming days to discuss the matter. And Macron decided, on Friday, to recall his ambassadors from the United States and Australia due to the crisis.
France also canceled a meeting between Macron and the President of Switzerland, according to Swiss media, due to anger over a Swiss decision to buy American, not French, fighter jets. France denied on Sunday canceling the date, but Switzerland confirmed the cancellation.
Unlimited free access to Showbytes? And that can!
Sign in or create an account and never miss a thing from the stars.
“Creator. Award-winning problem solver. Music evangelist. Incurable introvert.”