Aukus: France pulls out of UK defence talks amid row
Paris is angry after Australia signed the Aukus pact to build nuclear-powered submarines, pulling out of a major contract with France in the process.
France's defence minister has cancelled talks with her UK counterpart amid the row prompted by a new security deal between Britain, the US and Australia.
The Aukus agreement brokered last week, widely seen as an effort to counter China's influence in the contested South China Sea, ended a deal worth $37bn (£27bn) signed by Australia in 2016 for France to build 12 conventional submarines.
French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has described it as a "stab in the back" that constituted "unacceptable behaviour between allies and partners". And in a virtually unprecedented step among allies, French President Emmanuel Macron ordered the recall of the French ambassadors to Washington and Canberra.
Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison rejected accusations that Australia had lied, saying France should have been aware it was prepared to break the deal.
Speaking on Sunday, Mr Morrison said:
"Ultimately, this was a decision about whether the submarines that were being built, at great cost to the Australian taxpayer, were going to be able to do a job that we needed it to do when they went into service and our strategic judgement based on the best possible of intelligence and defence advice was that it would not."
The agreement means Australia will become just the seventh nation in the world to operate nuclear-powered submarines. The pact will also see the allies share cyber capabilities, artificial intelligence and other undersea technologies.
But it has been criticised by China, which has accused the three powers of having a "Cold War mentality".
And on Monday, North Korea, which has its own closely-watched nuclear weapon and missile programmes, warned it could spark a "nuclear arms race".