‘Stab In The Back’: Major European Ally Rips Biden For Cutting Them Out Of Biden’s New Anti-China Defense Deal
France accused the Biden administration of stabbing it “in the back” over a recent defense accord reached between the United States, Britain and Australia.
On Wednesday, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia announced a three-way agreement to join a military alliance to assist Australia in resisting Chinese aggression in the region. Under the terms of the agreement, the United States and the United Kingdom will assist Australia in developing a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines to counter China’s own submarine fleet.
The pact jeopardized Australia’s 2016 agreement with France to provide the country with a fleet of diesel-powered submarines. The new accord provoked strong comments from French authorities, who were shut out of it.
“This brutal, unilateral and unpredictable decision reminds me a lot of what Mr. Trump used to do,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told franceinfo radio, according to Reuters. “I am angry and bitter. This isn’t done between allies.”
“It’s a stab in the back. We created a relationship of trust with Australia and that trust has been broken,” Le Drian said.
Le Drian, along with French Minister of Armed Forces Florence Parly, issued a joint statement denouncing the US.
“The American decision, which leads to the exclusion of a European ally and partner like France from a crucial partnership with Australia at a time when we are facing unprecedented challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, be it over our values or respect for a multilateralism based on the rule of law, signals a lack of consistency which France can only notice and regret,” the officials said, according to Politico.
According to Benjamin Haddad, director of the Atlantic Council’s Europe Center, the decision has brought US-French ties to their lowest point since 2003.
“A stunning stab in the back of a key European ally involved in the Indo-Pacific. Everyone in Paris is shell-shocked. The lowest point in US-France relations since 2003 (with probably deeper consequences), and a major setback to a transatlantic strategy on China,” Haddad said.
The dispute over the defense accord is the latest in a series of incidents in which President Joe Biden has alienated allies. Biden’s hurried withdrawal and evacuation of Afghanistan strained US relations with a number of Western nations, forcing the US to postpone its departure date until evacuation operations could be completed. Biden turned down the request.
Biden withdrew a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline to cross from Canada into the United States earlier this year, effectively canceling the project, prompting strong reactions from Canadian leaders. According to The Daily Wire:
“While we welcome the President’s commitment to fight climate change, we are disappointed but acknowledge the President’s decision to fulfill his election campaign promise on Keystone XL,” Trudeau said in a statement, according to the New York Post.
“Canada is the single-largest supplier of energy to the United States, contributing to U.S. energy security and economic competitiveness, and supporting thousands of jobs on both sides of the border,” he continued. “Workers in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and across Canada will always have our support.”
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said he was “deeply disturbed” by Biden’s decision to stop work on the $8 billion project. Kenney had threatened legal action earlier in the week after reports of Biden’s intent to kill the pipeline surfaced.
“This is a gut punch for the Canadian and Alberta economies. Sadly it is an insult directed at the United States’ most important ally and trading partner,” Kenney told a news conference, according to Reuters.”
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