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US, France discussed Australia submarine deal before announcement: White House

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France and the US had high-level talks ahead of the announcement of Washington’s new alliance with Australia and Britain, with Canberra to get nuclear submarines, a White House official said Thursday.

“Senior administration officials have been in touch with their French counterparts to discuss AUKUS, including before the announcement,” the official told AFP after news of the agreement provoked fury in Paris because France had a deal of its own to supply submarines to Australia.

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The United States, Britain and Australia announced a security partnership for the Indo-Pacific that would involve helping Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines, senior US officials said on Wednesday, as Chinese influence over the region grows.