US President Joe Biden and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron spoke by phone on Wednesday about the rift between Paris and Washington over the submarine contract with Australia. They acknowledged that the situation would have benefited from open consultations. The French ambassador returns to Washington.
Relations between the two countries turned cold after the United States announced a strategic partnership with Australia and the United Kingdom. Subsequently, Australia canceled a major purchase of submarines in France. It was a multibillion dollar contract. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian spoke in response to, among other things, a “knife in the back” by Canberra and a “brutal” decision by Biden.
In their conversation on Wednesday, Biden and Macron agreed to engage in “deep consultations,” “aimed at creating conditions for building trust and proposing concrete measures to achieve common goals.” A joint statement said they would meet at the end of October “to achieve common visions”.
Macron also decided to send the French ambassador to Washington again next week, after he had previously been recalled. Then he will work closely with US officials.
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