Boris Johnson mocks French outrage over submarine deal

TEHRAN, Sep. 22 (MNA) – UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ridiculed the reaction of French President Emmanuel Macron to the recent controversial submarine deal between the US and UK on the one side, and Australia on the other side.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson told France it’s time to get over its anger about being brushed aside as the US and Britain cut a deal to supply Australia with nuclear submarines.

According to Bloomberg, he made the comments in a pooled television clip in Washington Wednesday following a meeting with US President Joe Biden the previous evening.

France certainly did come up in his 90-minute chat with Biden, Johnson said.

“I just think it’s time for some of our dearest friends around the world to prenez un grip about this and donnez-moi un break,” Johnson told reporters outside the Capitol building.  

Paris reacted with fury to news of three-way defense pact last week, recalling its ambassadors in Washington and Canberra while dismissing the U.K. as a bit player, whose role as a “spare tire” didn’t merit a diplomatic slap. As part of the deal, Australia canceled a $66 billion deal to purchase diesel-powered submarines from France. 

On Wednesday Johnson appeared to leave the door open for France or other nations to join the agreement, which aims to increase western influence in the Indo-Pacific region. 

“It’s not exclusive,” Johnson said. “It’s not trying to shoulder anybody out. It’s not adversarial towards China for instance.”

But his latest comments are unlikely to go down well in Paris, where President Emmanuel Macron is preparing to chat with Biden later on Wednesday. French officials say they were given no warning of the deal and have taken the lack of communication as a personal slight that they say is unworthy of an ally. 


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