Bloomberg via MSN
French Furious at Biden for Cutting Them Out of Submarine Deal
France’s top diplomat unleashed a stream of invective against President Joe Biden after the U.S. and the U.K. announced a new security alliance for the Pacific region which will cost the French defense industry some A$90 billion (56 billion euros). Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told France Info Thursday that he felt “stabbed in the back” over the “unacceptable” deal that will hurt French business and shuts the French military out of a key initiative in Western efforts to build a bulwark against China. “This unilateral, brutal, unforeseeable decision really looks like what Mr. Trump was doing,” Le Drian said. “This move is unacceptable between allies who want to develop a structured Indo-Pacific partnership.” French officials were blindsided on Wednesday night when the U.S. and the U.K. announced a new security partnership to supply Australia with nuclear-powered submarines, beefing up their ability to deploy in China’s backyard. That agreement scuppered a 2016 deal that Australia sealed with France to acquire 12 diesel-powered subs from shipbuilder Naval Group. The snub is a personal blow for President Emmanuel Macron who hosted Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison at the Elysee palace in June and vaunted their friendship at the Group of Seven meeting in the U.K. the same month. Le Drian had described the French-Australian submarine contract as the deal of the century.