France's anger at U.S., U.K., Australia over defense deal may not die down quickly

Emmanuel Macron. LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP via Getty Images

France's anger at its allies Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom over their trilateral defense agreement may not die down overnight.

The pact effectively cancels a pre-existing deal between France and Australia, in which the latter had ordered French-built submarines. In response, French President Emmanuel Macron recalled the government's ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia, which may only be “the tip of the iceberg,” Peter Ricketts, a former U.K. ambassador to France, told BBC radio on Saturday. “This is far more than just a diplomatic spat,” he said, explaining that the France-Australia deal “wasn't just an arms contract,” but a “strategic partnership.”

Now, “there's a deep sense of betrayal in France.” What's more, Australia went behind Paris' back with two of its NATO allies, leaving Macron and company wondering what exactly the alliance is for, Ricketts said. “I think people underestimated the impact that this would have in France and how this would seem as a humiliation and betrayal in a year President Macron is running for election in a very tight race with the far right,” he added. Read more at The Guardian.

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