President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron spoke by phone on Wednesday amid a diplomatic dispute over the agreement between Australia, the US, and the UK. The AUKUS agreement, announced last week, is set to aid Australia in developing nuclear-powered submarines. The White House released a statement on the matter.
“The two leaders agreed that the situation would have benefitted from open consultations among allies on matters of strategic interest to France and our European partners,” the White House statement read. “President Biden conveyed his ongoing commitment in that regard.”
The pair of presidents “decided to open a process of in-depth consultations, aimed at creating the conditions for ensuring confidence and proposing concrete measures toward common objectives.”
“They will meet in Europe at the end of October in order to reach shared understandings and maintain momentum in this process,” the statement read.
France recalled its ambassadors from the US and Australia last week after the announcement of AUKUS. The French government was angry over the exclusion from the three-country security pact, calling it a “stab in the back.”
Macron “decided that the French Ambassador will return to Washington next week,” and will “start intensive work with senior US officials.”