The submarine crisis forgiven? Macron praises in front of Biden the start of “a process of trust”
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This October 29 in Rome, the French and American presidents expressed their enthusiasm for the good development of relations between their two countries, a few weeks after the humiliation of Paris in the case of the Australian submarines.
Emmanuel Macron does not seem to harbor any grudge against the American ally: on October 29, when he met his counterpart Joe Biden in Rome ahead of the G20, the French president wanted to underline the good dynamics of Franco-American relations, some six weeks after the submarine crisis.
Quoting to the press the consultations of the two countries carried out in recent weeks on the climate, defense or innovation, the Head of State considered that these were “extremely concrete decisions that support actions and joint initiatives […] on these different fields ”, which would constitute“ the beginning of a process of confidence ”between the two countries.
Abundant in this sense, US President Joe Biden declared that France was in his eyes “an extremely valuable partner” and recognized a clumsiness in the submarine affair: “What we did was clumsy. and was not done very elegantly. ”
Indignation little followed by action?
A cold snap had hit Franco-American relations in mid-September when Joe Biden announced a new alliance with Australia and the United Kingdom in the Indo-Pacific region, which according to the press would have the main vocation of countering the Chinese influence. This strategic partnership, dubbed AUKUS, aroused the anger of France, after having caused the termination by Australia of a mega-contract to buy French submarines.
Paris then expressed its indignation, recalling “for consultation” its ambassadors in Australia and the United States, a first in Franco-American relations. The head of French diplomacy Jean-Yves Le Drian had denounced on September 16 a “blow in the back” of Australia and a “brutal” decision of the American president. The minister had shortly after reported “a major breach of confidence [et un] contempt ”on the part of France’s allies.
A few days later, on October 22, Joe Biden admitted in a telephone interview with Emmanuel Macron that he could have communicated better with Paris. The two presidents also declared that they were launching a “process of in-depth consultations”. Then, during an interview on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York the next day, Jean-Yves Le Drian had announced to his American counterpart Antony Blinken that the way out of the crisis between the two nations would take “time. »And would ask for« actions », an observation that the American had approved.
If sovereignist figures of the French opposition have criticized the executive for having been too tender with the United States in the context of this crisis, the head of European Union diplomacy Josep Borrell congratulated him , mid-October, that the “incident” was closed.
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