World, Europe

France should 'get a grip' about AUKUS, Boris Johnson says

British premier describes new security partnership 'fundamentally great step forward for global security'

Ahmet Gürhan Kartal   | 22.09.2021
France should 'get a grip' about AUKUS, Boris Johnson says

LONDON 

France should “get a grip” about the new Australia, UK, and US partnership, the British prime minister said Wednesday.

"What I want to say about that is I just think it's time for some of our dearest friends around the world to prenez un grip (get a grip) about all this and donnez-moi un break (give me a break)," said Boris Johnson, who is currently in the US.

Johnson’s comments came as Paris got angered because of a multibillion-dollar submarine deal with Australia collapsed as the country signed the trilateral security pact, dubbed the AUKUS, with the US and UK.

"This is fundamentally a great step forward for global security. It's three very like-minded allies standing shoulder to shoulder and creating a new partnership for the sharing of technology,” Johnson said.

"It's not exclusive, it's not trying to shoulder anybody out. It is not adversarial towards China, for instance,” he added.

Johnson underlined that the AUKUS is “there to intensify links and friendship between three countries in a way that I think will be beneficial for things that we believe in."

France expressed its disappointment after a major submarine procurement contract was canceled by Australia to sign with the AUKUS pact to build nuclear-powered submarines.

It recalled its ambassadors to Washington and Canberra for consultations.

France's Defense Minister Florence Parly has also canceled talks that were due this week in London with her British counterpart Ben Wallace after the cancellation of the submarine deal, which was worth $66 billion.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian described it as a "stab in the back."

China on Wednesday said the Asia-Pacific region needs economic growth and jobs instead of gunpowder and submarines.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian urged the three countries to reverse their decision and “fulfil their international nuclear non-proliferation obligations”.

“Facing common challenges of fighting the pandemic and economic recovery, the people in the Asia-Pacific region need growth and employment, not submarines and gunpowder,” Zhao said.

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