France has cancelled a defense summit with the United Kingdom as part of its protests over the submarine deal between Australia, UK, and the United States.
French Defense Minister Florence Parly was due to attend a bilateral meeting with UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace in London and to address the two-day Franco-British Council.
Franco-British Council Co-Chair Peter Ricketts confirmed that the two-day meeting had been “postponed to a later date.”
The cancellation of the meetings comes after Australia, the UK, and the US announced the AUKUS security pact that will build nuclear-powered submarines for Australia, abandoning the US$66 billion submarine deal Australia had with France.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian denounced AUKUS as a “stab in the back.”
Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison defended his decision to abandon the submarine deal with France, saying that France should have been aware that it was prepared to pull out.
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