The Australian government has reached a settlement with French shipping company Naval Group in the contentious case over the Australian Navy’s canceled submarine order. Anthony Albanese, the Labor Party leader who recently took over as Australian Prime Minister, has announced that Australia will pay the French company 555 million euros. In a press conference, Al-Albani described the settlement as “fair and appropriate” and expressed hope that his country would now be able to restore relations with France.
His predecessor, Scott Morrison, insulted the French in September last year by canceling an order of more than $40 billion for conventional submarines from the French company – according to the French. This application was already submitted in 2016.
Instead, the Australian government formed a partnership with the United States and the United Kingdom that called for AUKUS to unite to stand against China’s rise in the Pacific. Part of that new deal was to order new nuclear submarines from the United States.
Contempt and lies
The French government reacted angrily to the Australian move, including recalling its ambassadors from the United States and Australia. Former Foreign Minister Le Drian spoke of “unacceptable behavior” on the part of those countries and accused them of contempt and lying in a television interview.
No French government representative has yet commented on the new settlement, but the Albanian prime minister says he hopes cooperation will resume as usual: “We deeply respect France’s role and active participation in the Indo-Pacific region” in a press release. “Given the challenges in the region, it is essential that we can once again stand up for our common principles and interests.”