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EU, Australia trade ties at risk over diplomatic crisis

Jerome Hughes
Press TV, Brussels

The issue centers around a contract signed five years ago, worth up to €50bn, for France to build 12 submarines for Australia. Out of the blue, Paris found out a few days ago that the deal is off. France is furious and so too is the EU. Talks on a new trade deal between the 27-nation bloc and Australia took place in June and were due to resume in October. We're told that's now in doubt.

AUKUS is a new security deal signed between the US, Britain and Australia. It means France's submarines are no longer required. The country's foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, says it's a stab in the back from allies.

Senior EU ministers will discuss their response to the diplomatic crisis in the early hours of Tuesday morning, Brussels time.

Paris has already withdrawn its ambassadors from Washington and Canberra. The AUKUS nuclear submarines will use the latest undersea technologies in the South China Sea. Beijing says the move smacks of Cold War mentality. North Korea warns it could trigger a nuclear arms race. Political analysts are suggesting Australia and Britain need to be very circumspect when dealing with the US.

They point to all the international agreements Trump pulled the plug on. Also, Biden indicated he would rejoin the Iran nuclear deal. That still hasn't happened. And look at the impact of US unilateral decisions with respect to Afghanistan. Many are asking, can Washington really be trusted?

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