0432 GMT October 20, 2021
A French official made the comment to Politico earlier this week as Paris continued to react furiously to Australia's surprise decision to drop French-owned Naval Group from the $50 billion deal to replace its ageing submarines.
Australia will now build the submarines with help from the UK and US instead as part of a new security pact called AUKUS.
France – accusing the three nations of a "stab in the back" – recalled its ambassadors from the US and Australia, and moved to disrupt trade talks between the two nations and the EU, of which France is a leading member.
French officials have also found support from other EU members to delay talks with the US scheduled for next week, Bloomberg reported.
After France's anger, there were later signs that relations were starting to calm.
US President Joe Biden and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron spoke by phone Wednesday for the first time since AUKUS was announced.
In a joint US-French statement after the call, the White House conceded that it should have consulted Macron before announcing the AUKUS partnership, and said Biden would meet with him in Europe next month.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday it would take "time and actions" to restore confidence in ties after the crisis triggered by Australia's cancellation of the submarine contract, Reuters reported.