September 22, 2021

White House admits fault in diplomatic dispute with France

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.” 


Biden, Macron speak by phone, plan October meeting after diplomatic blow-up

Photo credit: “Joe Biden” by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. “Emmanuel Macron” by EU2017EE is licensed under CC BY 2.0. Both images are cropped and combined into the main image.

September 18, 2021

France retaliates over Biden “stab in the back”

After referring to the nuclear submarine pact between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the US as a “stab in the back,” French President Macron recalled France’s ambassadors from the United States and Australia.

“At the request of President Macron, I have decided to immediately recall our ambassadors to the United States and Australia to Paris for consultations,” Jean-Yves Le Drain, French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, said in a statement.

“The abandonment of the ocean-class submarine project that Australia and France had been working on since 2016 and the announcement of a new partnership with the United States aimed at studying the possibility of future cooperation on nuclear-powered submarines constitute unacceptable behavior among allies and partners,” the statement read.

Earlier this week, there was an announcement for the AUKUS pact between Australia, the UK, and the US that will provide nuclear submarines to Australia, scrapping a previous arrangement to send French-made submarines. France was incensed by the exclusion.

“This brutal, unilateral and unpredictable decision reminds me a lot of what Mr. Trump used to do,” Le Drian said. “I am angry and bitter. This isn’t done between allies.”


France recalls ambassadors to US and Australia in response to AUKUS nuclear submarine pact

Photo “French ambassador’s residence” by NCinDC is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

September 17, 2021

France angry over Biden exclusion: “It is really a stab in the back”

President Joe Biden excluded France from the three-country security pact, AUKUS, that will provide nuclear submarines to Australia. The French government is fuming over the decision.

“It is really a stab in the back. We built a relationship of trust with Australia, and this trust was betrayed and I’m angry today, with a lot of bitterness, about this breach,” said French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

“This brutal, unilateral, and unpredictable decision reminds me a lot of what Mr. Trump used to do,” Le Drian said. “I am angry and bitter. This isn’t done between allies.”

“The American choice to exclude a European ally and partner such as France from a structuring partnership with Australia, at a time when we are facing unprecedented challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, whether in terms of our values or in terms of respect for multilateralism based on the rule of law, shows a lack of coherence that France can only note and regret,” the French embassy in Washington, D.C., said in a statement.


France fuming over Biden ‘backstab’ on US-UK-Aussie nuclear submarines pact

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