US, France close to reconciliation after AUKUS Spit

US, France close to reconciliation after AUKUS Spit

PARIS (AP) — France and the United States clashed on Tuesday after the Biden administration, which angered France, pulled Washington’s oldest ally from a new Indo-Pacific security effort.

French President Emmanuel Macron and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken met in Paris to explore ways to close the gap in the deal, with the Macron government scrapping a multi-billion dollar deal on French submarines and recalling its ambassador. took an unprecedented step. United States of america

In an interview on French television after meeting Macron, Blinken accepted responsibility for the United States in a disagreement.

“We can, we have to communicate better,” Blinken said in French. “We sometimes consider the relationship as important and deep as the relationship between France and the United States.”

A senior US State Department official said Macron and Blingen explored US-French cooperation in the Indo-Pacific and elsewhere in the 40-minute session.

Following the engagement, President Joe Biden’s national security adviser Jack Sullivan said in a White House statement that he would meet with his French counterpart Emmanuel Bonny in Paris later this week. . “

The meeting between Macron and Blinken is the highest level of personal contact between the two countries outside France and other European countries.

The State Department official said both Macron and President Joe Biden discussed possible joint plans, which could be announced when they meet at a specific date and time this month. Macron and Biden agreed on a phone call on September 22 to try to repair the damage.

The White House report said Sullivan and Phone “will further explore these plans in preparation for the meeting between President Biden and President Macron in Europe later this month”.

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The State Department official did not specify what those plans would be, but said Indo-Pacific and Western efforts would stifle China’s development there and elsewhere, as well as other related transatlantic goals and cooperation. In the fight against terrorism in Africa.

Macron and Blinken agreed to take the opportunity to “deepen and strengthen integration” and called the talks “very productive” and added that “a lot of hard work awaits them.”

The official spoke to reporters who were not on Blingen’s official calendar and was at the Elysee Palace to discuss closed doors between Macron and Blingen.

The meeting came amid repeated demands by France from the United States to restore trust broken by the announcement of the AUKUS deal.

A French officer, speaking without knowing his common name, said there was a “long face-to-face meeting” as soon as he saw Blingon’s phone. According to the official, the purpose of the telephone is to “study the means to reconsider relations after the recall of the French ambassador and to help restore trust between France and the United States”.

US officials acknowledged that the AKUS Declaration was mismanaged and could have benefited from cooperation with France and other EU members, all of whom were left out. Although he suggested that France’s anger was an overreaction, he indicated that they wanted revenge.

France responded angrily and showed Big that its ambassadors to Washington and Canberra were phenomenal.

French officials called it a “punch” from allies and expressed dismay that this had happened when Biden announced that he had “returned to the United States” to restore and reassess transatlantic ties, which had occurred during the Trump administration. had deteriorated.

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As France has repeatedly stated, overcoming the division will take more time and effort, and the event highlights the need for Europe to develop its own defense and defense programs and adopt a strategy. EU to meet China’s growing challenges.

Blinken is in the French capital for a two-day International Economic Conference, which was fueled by the AUKUS controversy that erupted with the announcement of the plan. Blingon first met in Paris with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, whom he considers his personal friend.

Prior to his arrival, he was Foreign Minister in France for the second time.

Blinken, a francophone who grew up in high school in Paris, expressed disappointment that France had reacted so harshly to AUKUS. He and others have linked some French anger to French domestic politics and the transition dynamics in the European Union, which will soon leave Germany after 16 years of Angela Merkel’s rule.

The apparent reason for Blinken’s visit to France was planned ahead of the turmoil at AUKUS, which will chair a meeting of the Paris-based Cabinet for Economic Cooperation and Development on Tuesday and Wednesday.

In Glasgow, Scotland, former Secretary of State and current US Ambassador for Climate John Kerry attends OECD talks weeks ahead of the upcoming UN-backed International Climate Change Conference.

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Sylvie Corbett and John Leicester contributed to this report.

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