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Tags: france

After Fence-Mending Biden-Macron Call, French Envoy to Return to US

After Fence-Mending Biden-Macron Call, French Envoy to Return to US
(Dreamstime)

Wednesday, 22 September 2021 03:10 PM

The U.S. and French presidents moved to mend ties on Wednesday, with France agreeing to send its ambassador back to Washington and the White House saying it had erred in cutting a deal for Australia to buy U.S. instead of French submarines without consulting Paris.

In a joint statement issued after U.S. President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron spoke by telephone, the two leaders agreed to launch in-depth consultations to rebuild trust, and to meet in Europe at the end of October.

They said Washington had committed to step up "support to counter-terrorism operations in the Sahel conducted by European states" though it was unclear if this might mean the deployment of U.S. special forces or merely greater logistical support.

The call, which was requested by Washington, was an attempt to mend fences after France accused the United States of stabbing it in the back when Australia ditched a $40-billion contract for conventional French submarines, and opted for nuclear-powered submarines to be built with U.S. and British technology instead.

France was outraged https://www.reuters.com/world/us-move-dislodge-france-australia-submarine-deal-is-incoherent-french-ministers-2021-09-15 by the U.S., British and Australian security partnership and recalled its ambassadors from Washington and Canberra.

"The two leaders agreed that the situation would have benefited from open consultations among allies on matters of strategic interest to France and our European partners," the joint U.S. and French statement said.

"President Biden conveyed his ongoing commitment in that regard."

The United States "recognizes the importance of a stronger and more capable European defense, that contributes positively to transatlantic and global security and is complementary to NATO," it added.

The U.S., Australian and British security partnership was widely seen as designed to counter China's growing assertiveness in the Pacific but critics said it undercut Biden's broader effort to rally allies such as France to that cause.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki described the Biden-Macron call as friendly and struck a hopeful note about repairing ties.

"We’re hopeful and the president is hopeful that this is a step in returning to normal in a long important abiding relationship," Psaki told reporters. 

© 2021 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.


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The U.S. and French presidents moved to mend ties on Wednesday, with France agreeing to send its ambassador back to Washington and the White House saying it had erred in cutting a deal for Australia to buy U.S. instead of French submarines without consulting Paris.In a...
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2021-10-22
Wednesday, 22 September 2021 03:10 PM
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