Australia defends handling of French submarine deal

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrision defended the scrapping of a deal for French submarines on Sunday (September 19), saying the government had raised concerns to Paris for months.

"I don't regret the decision to put Australia's national interest first, never will."

His response came as a new deal with the United States and Britain continued to fuel a multinational diplomatic crisis.

Australia ditched the 40 billion dollar 2016 deal with France's Naval Group to build a fleet of conventional submarines.

Instead, on Thursday, it announced a plan to build at least eight nuclear-powered ones with U.S. and British technology in a trilateral security partnership.

"I think they had every reason to know that we had deep and grave concerns that the capability being delivered by the Attack-class submarine was not going to meet our strategic interests and we had made very clear that we would be making a decision based on our strategic national interest."

The move infuriated France, a NATO ally of the United States and Britain, prompting it to recall its ambassadors from Washington and Canberra.

It also riled China, the major rising power in the Indo-Pacific region.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting