On Sunday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson played down the diplomatic break with Paris over a new security pact with Australia and the United States, saying “his country’s love for France is ineradicable”.
Speaking to reporters as he flew to New York, Johnson insisted that Britain and France have a “very friendly relationship”, which he described as “of great importance. huge”.
Australia’s security deal and related decision to tear up a multibillion-dollar deal for French submarines in favor of US nuclear-powered ships sparked outrage in Paris, with President Emmanuel Macron recalling the ambassadors of France in Canberra and Washington in an unprecedented gesture.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said this weekend that Britain was a “third wheel” in the affair, and accused London of “constant opportunism”.
France has canceled a meeting scheduled this week between its Defense Minister Florence Parly and his British counterpart Ben Wallace, a source at his ministry told TBEN on Sunday.
But on the plane, Johnson played down France’s concerns.
He said the pact, dubbed AUKUS, was “by no means meant to be zero-sum, it wasn’t meant to be exclusive.”
“It is not something that nobody has to worry about and especially not our French friends”, he declared.
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