| 3 March 2024, Sunday |

France cancels defense meeting with UK over submarine row, sources say

According to two individuals familiar with the subject, France has canceled a meeting between Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly and her British colleague scheduled for this week after Australia cancelled a submarine order with Paris in favor of a deal with Washington and London.

According to the sources, Parly made the decision to cancel the bilateral meeting with British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace.

The French defense ministry could not be immediately reached. The British defense ministry declined comment.

The meeting had been canceled, according to the sources, according to an earlier article in the Guardian newspaper.

The cancellation of a multibillion-dollar submarine deal reached in 2016 has sparked a diplomatic crisis, with Paris withdrawing its ambassadors from Washington and Canberra.

France alleges that its partners were not consulted, but Australia asserts that it has expressed its reservations over the contract to Paris for months.

The French government’s spokesman said on Sunday that French President Emmanuel Macron and US President Joe Biden will speak by phone in the coming days to discuss the problem.

  • Reuters