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Australia reaches settlement with France over scrapped submarine deal

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French President Emmanuel Macron and former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull stand on the deck of HMAS Waller, a Collins-class submarine operated by the Royal Australian Navy, at Garden Island in Sydney on May 2, 2018.

Ludovic Marin | Afp | Getty Images

Australia’s latest Labor-led government has reached a 555 million euro ($583.58 million) settlement over a controversial decision last yr to scrap the French submarine deal, a move Canberra hopes will help repair the rift between the 2 countries.

Australia last yr cancelled a multi-billion-dollar order for submarines with French military shipyard Naval Group and opted as an alternative for an alternate cope with america and Britain.

The move enraged Paris and triggered an unprecedented diplomatic crisis. It has also riled China, the key rising power within the Indo-Pacific region.

Australia Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Saturday in a news conference in Sydney that his government had reached a “fair and equitable” settlement with Naval Group.

The cancellation last yr of Canberra’s order for a latest conventional submarine fleet with Naval Group – valued at $40 billion in 2016 and reckoned to cost rather more today — got here after the previous government signed a trilateral security partnership with america and Britain.

The trilateral deal was for a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines with U.S. and British technology. Albanese said the settlement would allow Australia to maneuver forward in its relationship with France.

“Given the gravity of the challenges that we face each within the region and globally, it is crucial that Australia and France once more unite to defend our shared principles and interests,” Albanese said in a separate statement.

Australia, america, France and its partners have all expressed concern about China’s growing influence within the Pacific, a region that has traditionally been under their sway. Their concerns increased after China and the Solomon Island’s signed a security pact earlier within the yr.

“We deeply respect France’s role and lively engagement within the Indo-Pacific,” Albanese said. He added he was looking forward to taking on French President Emmanuel Macron’s invitation to go to Paris.

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