"This brutal, unilateral, and unpredictable decision reminds me a lot of what Mr Trump used to do," says FM Jean-Yves Le Drian, accusing US President Biden of stabbing Paris in back and acting like his predecessor Trump.
France has accused US President Joe Biden of stabbing it in the back and acting like his predecessor Donald Trump after Paris was pushed aside from a lucrative defence deal that it had signed with Australia for submarines.
"This brutal, unilateral, and unpredictable decision reminds me a lot of what Mr Trump used to do," Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told franceinfo radio.
"I am angry and bitter. This isn't done between allies."
US President Joe Biden, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and British counterpart Boris Johnson unveiled the new alliance, dubbed AUKUS, on Wednesday.
The trio said they would establish a security partnership for the Asia-Pacific that will help Australia acquire US nuclear-powered submarines and scrap the $40 billion French-designed submarine deal.
In 2016, Australia had selected French shipbuilder Naval Group to build a new submarine fleet worth $40 billion to replace its more than two-decade-old Collins submarines.
Two weeks ago, the Australian defence and foreign ministers had reconfirmed the deal to France, and French President Emmanuel Macron lauded decades of future cooperation when hosting Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in June.
"It's a stab in the back. We created a relationship of trust with Australia and that trust has been broken," Le Drian said.
'A Trafalgar moment'
Relations between Trump and Macron soured during Trump's presidency and diplomats say there have been concerns in recent months that Biden is not being forthright with his European allies.
Washington's actions in Australia are likely to further strain Transatlantic ties.
The European Union was due to roll out its own Asia-Pacific strategy later on Thursday and Paris is preparing to take on the EU presidency.
"This is a clap of thunder and for many in Paris a Trafalgar moment," Bruno Tertrais, Deputy Director of the Paris-based think tank the Foundation of Strategic Research said on Twitter, referring to a French naval defeat in 1805 that was followed by British naval supremacy.
He said it would "complicate the transatlantic cooperation in and about the region. Beijing will benefit."
Biden said on Wednesday France remained a "key partner in the Indo-Pacific zone."
Morrison said in a statement that Australia looked forward to continue to work "closely and positively" with France, adding: "France is a key friend and partner to Australia and the Indo-Pacific."
EU 'not informed' on new pact
The EU was not told in advance about a new military partnership between the United States, Britain, and Australia, a spokesman said on Thursday, fuelling fears Europe is being cut out by Washington.
The three countries' leaders unveiled the alliance on Wednesday in what appears to be a move to counter China's rising might.
The agreement to provide a nuclear submarine fleet to Australia raised hackles in EU member France, which saw its earlier multi-billion dollar deal with Canberra scrapped.
"We regret not having being informed, not having been part of these talks," EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said.
"I understand how disappointed the French government will be."
"The EU was not informed about this project or about this initiative and we are in contact with the said partners to find out more," European Commission spokesman Peter Stano said.
"And we will, of course, have to discuss this within the EU with our member states to assess the implications."
A second spokesperson Dana Spinant insisted that the new alliance would have "no impact" on relations with the three countries.
The 27-nation bloc is looking to strengthen ties in the region, which it says is of "prime strategic importance for EU interests".
Brussels said in April the strategy could include bolstering the European naval presence in the region.
Many in Europe were dismayed with the way the US pulled out of Afghanistan, with critics accusing Biden of sidelining allies over the decision.