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major diplomatic spat has erupted after France recalled its ambassadors to Australia and USA. rift follows Australia cancelling order for France to supply it with 12 conventional diesel-powered submarines. deal was signed in 2016 and was worth $37 billion in business to French. Instead, Australia has opted to buy nuclear-powered submarines, reneging on 2016 agreement. France's President Macron called cancellation of the deal a "stab in the back" and a "betrayal" by Australia. Mr Macron also recalled France's top diplomat to USA. He said the US and Australia were exploring " possibility of future cooperation on nuclear-powered submarines".

new, strategic security alliance between Australia, UK and the USA is the cause of the split. The alliance is called AUKUS - acronym based on the names of the three countries signed up to it. AUKUS means Australia will be provided with technology to operate nuclear-powered submarines. France says it was only informed of alliance hours before it was publicly announced to world. France is the USA's oldest ally. The French foreign minister said his country's "exceptional decision" was because of "exceptional gravity" of situation. It is said AUKUS is to counter China's influence in region. China accused the three AUKUS powers of displaying "Cold War mentality".

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