America’s oldest ally, France, took an extraordinary step on Friday September 17, recalling its ambassador to the United States and Australia.
The relationship between the US and France conceived in 18th century revolutions us now at a tipping point after the U.S. Australia and Britain shunned France in creating a new Indo-Pacific security arrangement that involved Australia dumping its previous agreement to buy diesel powered submarines from France in favor of buying better more equiped nuclear powered submarines from the US and the UK to counter growing threats from China.
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.
France Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a written statement that the French decision, on request from President Emmanuel Macron, “is justified by the exceptional seriousness of the announcements” made by Australia and the United States.
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.
Ambassador Philippe Etienne tweeted the announcements are “directly affecting the vision we have of our alliances, of our partnerships and of the importance of the Indo-Pacific for Europe.”
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.