The US Secretary of State backed France to boost security cooperation between European countries during a meeting with President Macron following tensions over the submarine deal.
During discussions in Paris today, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told French President Emmanuel Macron that Washington “definitely supports defense and security initiatives. Security of Europe”, a senior State Department official said.
“We see this as a complement to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). President Joe Biden’s commitment to NATO, as everyone knows, is very solid,” the official said. Or, adding that Macron also agreed that any new European initiative should not be opposed to NATO.
The nearly 40-minute meeting between Blinken and Macron was not part of the two-day program of the US Secretary of State’s visit to Paris. It is seen as an attempt to repair ties with France after Australia canceled a $40 billion submarine contract with the country to pursue a nuclear submarine deal called AUKUS with the US and UK.
Macron expressed extreme anger at Canberra’s decision to recall French ambassadors to the US and Australia, an unprecedented step in the history of relations between Paris and Washington. French officials also called AUKUS a “stab in the back”, and saw it as a wake-up call to the EU that it should build up its military capability within the framework of NATO.
In addition to Macron, Blinken also met with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian and Emmanuel Bonne, diplomatic adviser to the French president. The source said the meetings were “extremely intimate” and focused on future collaborations rather than mentioning AUKUS. The Elysee Palace also said that Blinken’s visit would help “restore trust” between the parties.
“President Macron stressed on making this an opportunity to deepen and strengthen cooperation from the Europe-Atlantic to the Indo-Pacific and Africa,” the official said on condition of anonymity. He said both sides agreed that there was still much work to be done. relationship has to be done.
aura (Follow Reuters)
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