France Friday recalled its ambassadors to the United States and Australia over what political analysts see as foreign policy disagreement.
It is the first time ever that France has recalled its ambassador to the U.S., according to the French foreign ministry. Paris also recalled its envoy to Australia.
He said Australia’s decision to scrap a big French conventional submarine purchase in favor of nuclear subs built with U.S. technology is “unacceptable behavior between allies and partners.”
In response to the move, the Biden administration said it has been in close contact with French officials about the decision to recall Etienne to Paris, National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne said.
“France is our oldest ally and one of our strongest partners, and we share a long history of shared democratic values and a commitment to working together to address global challenges.”
State Department spokesman Ned Price also stressed the value the U.S. places on its relationship with France and expressed hope that talks between the two sides will continue in the coming days, including at the United Nations General Assembly next week.
This is the first time this will occur since Macron came into office in 2017.
The Australian government said it regretted France’s decision to recall its ambassador to that nation.
It added that Australia valued its relationship with France and looked forward to future engagements together.
Macron’s decision to recall his ambassadors to the US is a shocking turnaround given that he welcomed Joe Biden’s presidency after having a bitter relationship with former President Donald Trump.
The recall is his boldest foreign policy move yet in his four-year presidency
Earlier Friday, a top French diplomat, who spoke anonymously, said that Macron received a letter from Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Wednesday morning announcing the decision to cancel the submarine deal.
Le Drian expressed “total incomprehension” at the move and criticized both Australia and the U.S.
“It was really a stab in the back. We built a relationship of trust with Australia, and this trust was betrayed,” he said. “This is not done between allies.”