NSSigns of tension between Washington and Paris: After the serious dispute in the submarine dispute, the American president wants Joe Biden French President Emmanuel Macron meet for a face-to-face meeting in October. During a phone call on Wednesday, they agreed to meet in Europe at the end of October, according to a joint statement later released by the two governments. Macron also decided that the French ambassador would return to Washington next week.
A few days ago, without consulting its allies, the United States announced a new security agreement with Australia and Great Britain in the Indo-Pacific, which led to a deep diplomatic crisis with France. The deal destroyed a multi-billion dollar submarine deal between Australia and France, which led to angry reactions in Paris. Macron He temporarily withdrew ambassadors from the United States and Australia – a highly unusual measure among allies. The French said on Wednesday that no decision had been made yet on recalling the French ambassador to Canberra.
Intensive consultation process
Minister of Foreign Affairs of France Jean-Yves Le Drian He complained in the controversy with unusually sharp words about the progress of the partners. He called the decision, among other things, “brutal” and compared Biden’s approach to that of former US President Donald Trump.
Biden finally asked Macron to call him to settle differences. The French president, in turn, had announced shortly before what exactly he expected from the conversation.
The joint statement was based largely on this previously widespread – and sometimes exhausting – choice of words from Elysee circles. The statement accompanying the phone call said, among other things, that the two presidents agreed that the situation “benefited” from “open consultations among allies” on issues of strategic importance to France and European partners. The presidents agreed to start a process of intensive consultations in order to create conditions, ensure confidence, and propose concrete steps to achieve common goals. The aim of the meeting is to “achive a common understanding and maintain momentum in the process”.
The G20 summit, a meeting of the 20 most important industrialized nations, including the United States and France, is scheduled to take place in Rome at the end of October. Biden is supposed to travel to Europe anyway. It was not clear at first whether the meeting with Macron should take place on the sidelines of the summit or separately.
White House spokeswoman Jin PsakiHe said in Washington that details were still being worked out. She said the phone call from Biden and Macron lasted about 30 minutes and was friendly in tone. The US president hopes the conversation will be a step back to normal. When asked if Biden had apologized to Macron, Psaki responded evasively: The president acknowledged that there could have been a better vote. The focus of the conversation was on how to proceed.
In the joint statement after the phone call, Biden was also said to have emphasized the strategic importance of French and European engagement in the Indo-Pacific and that he would provide further support to European counter-terrorism efforts in the Sahel. . Macron also requested these clarifications and commitments in advance.
On Wednesday, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, government representatives from the two countries met again for the first time since the unrest. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and his counterpart Le Drian met at a conference on Libya at the invitation of the Federal Secretary of State. Heiko Mass At the German UN mission in New York, they shook hands. Le Drian had previously canceled a four-person meeting with Blinken, Maas and new British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, which was already scheduled for Wednesday.
Maas had criticized the conclusion of the Indo-Pacific deal on Tuesday as “disturbing” and “realistic”. He now hopes to ease the row. “It’s important to remove the irritations that exist in the world,” Maas said. There are many issues on which Europe and the United States of America depend for good cooperation. The impression arose that different strategies were pursued in the Indo-Pacific region. “But I think that’s not really the case. You have to talk about it now to avoid further misunderstanding in public.”
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