Australia: France’s recall of ambassador over subs regretful

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CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia is noting with regret France’s recall of its ambassador over the surprise cancellation of a submarine contract in favor of a U.S. deal. Recalling its ambassadors to Australia and the United States was an unprecedented show of anger by France over the deal among the United States, Australia and Britain to provide Australia with nuclear-power submarines. It scrapped an Australian-French deal for conventional diesel-electric submarines. Foreign Minister Marise Payne’s office said Australia understood France’s disappointment and still highly valued their bilateral relations. Ambassador Jean-Pierre Thebault said Australia never mentioned that the project could be scrapped despite opportunities to discuss it.

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