The US was “clumsy” in the submarine deal with France. “We are angered by such a very valuable partner,” President Joe Biden said in Rome during his first meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron since the affair.
“What we did was clumsy and not very elegant,” Biden admitted. “I had the impression that France had known for a long time that there would be no agreement,” the US president said. We have no better ally than France.”
The September 15 announcement of a strategic partnership between the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom, which led to the cancellation of a huge contract for French submarines in Canberra, sparked a major diplomatic crisis between France and the United States.
“From now on, we must look to the future,” Macron had previously said after welcoming Biden with a smile at Villa Bonaparte, the French embassy to the Holy See. He also noted the consultations that the two countries have had in recent weeks on climate, defense and innovation. “These were very concrete decisions that support joint actions and initiatives (…). For me, this is really the beginning of rebuilding trust.” Macron also briefly turned to English: “What matters now is what we will do in the coming weeks, months and years.”
Before speaking to the French president, Joe Biden, who wanted to glue the United States’ European alliances — damaged during Trump’s presidency — met with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.
The meetings announce the G20 summit, chaired by Italy, which will be held in Rome on Saturday and Sunday.
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