Updates from Aukus
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Joe Biden offered an olive branch to French President Emmanuel Macron to ease tensions that have erupted over France’s exclusion from a new trilateral security pact that deprived Paris of an agreement on sub- long-anticipated sailors.
In a joint statement released after an appeal between the two leaders, Biden appeared to admit that Paris had been excluded from talks between the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom which led to a new agreement for the submarines. nuclear.
“The two leaders agreed that the situation would have benefited from open consultations between allies on issues of strategic interest to France and our European partners,” they said. “President Biden has expressed his continued commitment in this regard.”
The two leaders also agreed to work on creating “conditions to ensure confidence and propose concrete measures towards common goals”. They will meet in Europe at the end of October.
Macron had been outraged by the Aukus agreement because he was not aware of the trilateral pact and because he attached great importance to the role of France as an Indo-Pacific power with citizens, island territories and 7,000 troops in the region.
But as the United States struggled to calm tensions and reconcile French anger, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson suggested Macron needed to “take a grip” and recognized that the deal would bolster global security.
Speaking on a visit to Washington, the British Prime Minister also said Macron should ‘give me a break“ and overcome his anger.
“This is fundamentally a big step forward for global security,” Johnson said. “These are three like-minded allies standing side by side to create a new partnership for sharing technology. It is not exclusive. He doesn’t try to support anyone. It is not contradictory with China, for example.
France has blamed Britain’s involvement in the deal. Jean-Yves Le Drian, French Foreign Minister, suggested Britain was a bit involved, saying “Britain in this matter is a bit of a fifth wheel on the cart”.
Meanwhile, Clément Beaune, French Minister for Europe, suggested that Johnson confirm that the UK is a “vassal” of the United States.
France has recalled its ambassadors to the United States, the United Nations and Australia for its exclusion from the Aukus trilateral agreement and to protest Canberra’s cancellation of an agreement on 50 diesel submarines. billion Australian dollars (26.6 billion pounds sterling) with France to work with the United States and Great Britain. build nuclear powered boats.
Macron has now decided that the French ambassador to Washington will return next week, according to the joint statement. “He will then begin intensive work with senior American officials,” he said.
Before the call, a French official said the United States was trying to mend the relationship in a “transactional” way. According to the French side, Paris expected “clarifications” on why the United States kept a European ally out of Indo-Pacific cooperation.
Some British officials fear that the dispute will lead to a hardening of French positions on sensitive issues, including Brexit trade relations with Northern Ireland and on the police of migrants trying to cross the Channel from France to the United Kingdom. United.