France recalls ambassadors from U.S. and Australia following announcement of submarine deal

France said it will immediately recall its ambassadors to the United States and Australia, in protest of a submarine deal unveiled earlier this week.

Updated: September 17, 2021 - 5:55pm

France announced Friday that it would immediately recall its ambassadors from the U.S. and Australia in retaliation over a new partnership between the U.S. and the U.K to deliver submarines to Australia.

According to the Associated Press, Australia scrapped a previous military deal with France that would have provided submarines to the country. Instead, the U.S. will provide nuclear-powered submarines to the country in an effort to halt Chinese military aggression along the South China Sea.

This is the first time France has recalled its ambassador from the U.S.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a written statement that the decision the French President Emanuel Macron made “is justified by the exceptional seriousness of the announcements” made by Australia and the U.S.

He went on to say that the trilateral pact the U.S. and U.K. made with Australia is “unacceptable behavior between allies and partners” because Australia originally had a defensive agreement with France.

Recalling diplomatic representatives is extremely unusual between allied countries. In 2019, France recalled representatives from Italy and Turkey after those countries made critical comments about the French government.

So far there has been no retaliation against the U.K. for its part in the deal.