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French FM says ties with Australia, US in ‘serious crisis,’ accuses them of ‘duplicity’

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian speaks during a joint press conference with his Qatari counterpart in Qatar's capital Doha, on September 13, 2021. (Karim Jafaar/AFP)
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian speaks during a joint press conference with his Qatari counterpart in Qatar's capital Doha, on September 13, 2021. (Karim Jafaar/AFP)

PARIS — France accuses Australia and the United States of lying in a crisis over a security pact that saw Canberra scrap a contract to buy French submarines in favor of American vessels.

“There has been lying, duplicity, a major breach of trust and contempt. This will not do,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian tells France 2 television, saying a “serious crisis” is now in progress between the allies after Paris recalled its ambassadors to Canberra and Washington.

He also lashes out at the “permanent opportunism” of the British government, which he dismisses as the “third wheel” in the security pact with Australia and the United States.

NATO would have to take account of what has happened as it reconsiders future strategy, he adds.

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