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Defence Minister ‘understands’ French uproar over AUKUS pact 

Article image for Defence Minister ‘understands’ French uproar over AUKUS pact 

Defence Minister Peter Dutton says he’s understanding of the response from French officials over Australia’s nuclear-powered submarine deal.

Under a trilateral security pact with the UK and US announced yesterday, Australia will receive a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines.

The French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian described the deal as “a stab in the back” after it saw Australia tear up a $90 billion contract for French-built diesel submarines.

“I understand it from the French perspective and we’re very respectful of their position,” Mr Dutton told Ray Hadley.

“If we had somebody cancel a contract of that amount of money on us, we’d be upset as well.”

But the superiority of nuclear-powered submarines, which move faster and are not as easily detectable as their diesel counterparts, couldn’t be ignored.

“The nuclear-powered submarine was going to give us a much greater capability than the diesel submarine.

“In the end, my first priority is and always will be to keep our country safe.”

Press PLAY below to hear the full interview 

Ray Hadley
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