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Australia Says France Knew Of ‘grave’ Submarine Concerns

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FILE - In this June 15, 2021, file photo, Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison leaves after meeting with Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson at 10 Downing Street, in London. France would have known Australia had “deep and grave concerns” that a submarine fleet the French were building would not meet Australian needs, Prime Minister Morrison said on Sunday, Sept. 19, after cancelling the contract.(AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)

(AP) — Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says France would have known Australia had “deep and grave concerns” that a submarine fleet the French were building would not meet Australia’s needs.

France accuses Australia of concealing its intentions to back out of the contract and withdrew its ambassadors from the United States and Australia over what it considers a diplomatic crisis.

President Joe Biden revealed last week a new security alliance among the U.S., Australia and Britain that would deliver Australian nuclear-powered submarines instead. Morrison blamed the switch on a deteriorating strategic environment in the Indo-Pacific. He has not specifically referred to China’s massive military buildup.

 

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