France cancels defence assembly with UK over submarine row, sources say By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: French Defence Minister Florence Parly visits troopers of Sentinelle safety operation outdoors the Austerlitz practice station in Paris, France, July 29, 2021. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

PARIS (Reuters) – France has cancelled a gathering between Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly and her British counterpart deliberate for this week after Australia scrapped a submarine order with Paris in favour of a take care of Washington and London, two sources acquainted with the matter mentioned.

Parly personally took the choice to drop the bilateral assembly with British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, the sources mentioned.

The French defence ministry couldn’t be instantly reached. The British defence ministry declined remark.

The sources confirmed an earlier report within the Guardian newspaper that the assembly had been cancelled.

The scrapping of the multi-billion-dollar submarine contract, struck in 2016, has triggered a diplomatic disaster, with Paris recalling its ambassadors from Washington and Canberra.

France claims to not have been consulted by its allies, whereas Australia says it had made clear to Paris for months its considerations over the contract.

French President Emmanuel Macron and U.S. President Joe Biden will communicate by phone within the coming days to debate the disaster, the French authorities’s spokesman mentioned on Sunday.

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