France says ambassador to return to Australia after submarine argument

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France will send its ambassador back to Australia after withdrawing the envoy in a row over a submarine supply deal, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Wednesday.

“I have asked our ambassador to return to Canberra… to redefine the terms of our relations for the future,” Le Drian told French lawmakers.

Paris had pulled the ambassador out of Canberra in protest at a defence pact negotiated between the United States, Australia and Britain. Known as AUKUS, the pact is intended to counter Chinese military strength.

Under the pact, Australia committed to buy U.S.-designed submarines, and pulled out of an existing supply deal with a French manufacturer. Paris was incensed, saying the deal had been done behind its back.

>> Submarine argument: France has ‘every right to be angry,’ says ex-Australian PM

(REUTERS)

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