(International observation) France recalls its ambassadors to the United States and Australia: "stabbing in the back" triggers diplomatic discord

  China News Service, Paris, September 18th, title: France recalls its ambassadors to the United States and Australia: "stabbing in the back" triggers diplomatic discord

  China News Agency reporter Li Yang

  France announced on the evening of the 17th local time that it would immediately recall the French ambassadors to the United States and Australia.

The rare move by France to recall its ambassador has attracted attention from all sides.

The recall of the ambassador is unusual

  France's decision to recall its ambassadors to the United States and Australia is generally regarded as an "unusual" decision by the outside world.

Some commentators pointed out that this is the first time France has recalled its ambassador to the United States in this way in the history of nearly 250 years of diplomatic relations between France and the United States.

  At the beginning of the statement issued by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs that evening, it was clearly stated that the decision to recall the ambassador was made in accordance with President Macron's request.

The statement said that Australia abandoned the submarine construction agreement reached with France in 2016 and instead reached a "new partnership" with the United States on the development of nuclear submarines. This is an "unacceptable behavior" among allies, and the consequences of doing so will be fundamental. Shake the partnership.

  The American "Atlantic" magazine disclosed the details of the recall of Philippe étienne, the French ambassador to the United States.

When the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement of recalling ambassadors, it was at noon on the 17th Washington time in the United States. Ambassador Etienne was holding a luncheon at the embassy residence.

The emcee suddenly announced that the ambassador would leave immediately. Those who attended the lunch later learned that the ambassador was going to "pack up and return to Paris."

  The reporter noticed that before returning to Paris, Etienne reposted the French Foreign Ministry's statement through social media, and repeated the last paragraph of the English version of the statement.

This is the message that the French ambassador to the United States left before being recalled.

"Knife in the back" triggers anger

  When French Foreign Minister Le Drian was interviewed earlier, he criticized the United States harshly, accusing it of "stabbing in the back."

He strongly criticized this kind of unilateral rude and unforeseen decision reminiscent of Trump's behavior.

  Australia decided in 2016 that the French military ship manufacturer "Navy Group" would build its submarine fleet to replace its long-serving submarines. The agreement is reported to be worth tens of billions of Australian dollars.

But as Australia and the United States reached a nuclear submarine cooperation agreement, Australia no longer needs conventional submarines built by France.

This also means that the United States has actually taken away the valuable submarine contract with Australia from France.

  Australia abandons its submarine construction agreement with France and instead cooperates with the United States. For France, the most direct blow is economic loss.

The loss of military contracts worth tens of billions of dollars may also affect the work and income of many French people.

  What needs to be emphasized is that France built conventional submarines for Australia, while the cooperation between the United States and Australia on nuclear submarines is aimed at developing military nuclear technology, which is an act of nuclear proliferation.

  The more important issue is that the United States and Australia did not consult with France on the relevant issues in advance, but only notified the French side a few hours before the official announcement.

This is undoubtedly a "serious offense" to France.

As Le Drian said, the United States and Australia do not regard France as an ally or partner.

  Australian Prime Minister Morrison claimed until the 17th that he had raised the possibility of Australia canceling the submarine agreement with France during his meeting with Macron in June this year.

French diplomats firmly denied this, pointing out that Australia had never expressed any opinion to France before it planned to cancel the submarine deal.

This reflects that while Morrison has decided to cancel the Australia-France submarine agreement and throw out relevant remarks, it seems that he has made up his mind to bet on Australia's national credibility.

Diplomatic discord is difficult to resolve for a while

  France's decision to recall its ambassadors to the United States and Australia shows that the diplomatic discord between France and the United States and Australia may be difficult to resolve in the short term.

  US State Department spokesperson Price emphasized that the United States attaches importance to US-French relations and expressed the hope that the two sides will continue to hold talks on related issues, including on the occasion of the UN General Assembly next week.

However, according to the currently announced schedule, Macron did not have the arrangement to speak at the UN General Assembly, but Foreign Minister Le Drian made a speech on his behalf.

There seem to be few opportunities for direct dialogue between French and American leaders in the near future.

  The incident will prompt France to further reflect on the current policies of the United States.

The French "Le Monde" editorial bluntly believes that the White House's foreign policy guidelines are still "America first." Whether it is in the strategic, economic, financial or health fields, the United States must be placed first. This seems to be the same as the previous one. The Trump administration is no different.

  France will usher in the presidential election next year and will also hold the rotating presidency of the European Union. The internal and external environments are relatively complicated.

What measures Macron will take next to deal with related incidents will attract much attention.

(over)

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