Diplomatic niceties cast aside by France as sub deal ends

PARIS (AP) — Tossing diplomatic niceties out the window, France’s ambassador to Australia left the country after describing as a “huge mistake” Australia’s surprise cancellation of a major submarine contract in favor of a U.S. deal.  Envoy Jean-Pierre Thebault spoke before leaving for France. Paris recalled its ambassadors to Australia and the United States on Friday to protest a deal between the United States, Australia and Britain to supply Australia with a fleet of at least eight nuclear-power submarines. The deal scraps a contract with a French majority state-owned company to build 12 conventional diesel-electric submarines. Australia’s new U.S. deal comes as it looks to confront China’s rising military power in the region.