Australia’s defense agreement with the United States meant that the submarine purchase from France never materialized. It has triggered a diplomatic crisis. France has called home its ambassadors to both Australia and the United States.
France is furious at Australia’s handling of the case, and has accused its allies of lying about the plans.
It rejects Australia’s defense minister Peter Dutton, who told Sky News Australia that the country was open and honest with France about concerns about the deal, which had exceeded budgets and was delayed.
Dutton says he understands that France is upset, but emphasizes that the country also publicly expressed concerns about the submarine agreement with France.
– The authorities had concerns, we expressed them. We will work very closely with the French, and continue to do so in the future, says Dutton.
He says he personally raised the concerns with his French counterpart, Florence Parly.
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