Emmanuel Macron received US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in his office on Tuesday, and agreed with him on concrete decisions that the French head of state plans to announce later this month with US President Joe Biden to resolve the diplomatic crisis over the so-called submarine issue. Elysee said.
According to the information, “a long, face-to-face meeting succeeded in restoring the relationship of trust between France and the United States.” The two allies will “continue to work together for common interests, be it the relationship between the European Union and NATO, the Sahel or the Indo-Pacific.”
US diplomatic sources described the discussion as positive and fruitful to Agence France-Presse. However, according to the American side, “there is still a lot of serious work to take joint decisions,” which the two presidents will finalize at a European meeting in late October.
The United States, Australia and the United Kingdom entered into a security partnership agreement on September 15 under the name AUKUS, without prior notification to France. In this context, Australia decided to buy nuclear-powered submarines from the United States, while it terminated its contract with France for the production of diesel and electric-powered submarines. As a result, France was unable to conclude a $56 billion treaty that caused a diplomatic crisis between France and the United States, and Paris recalled its ambassadors in Washington and Canberra. The French head of state has since spoken by phone with US President Joe Biden, then the French ambassador in Washington took office again last week.
The US Secretary of State also consulted with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian during the day. But the last meeting took place in a cooler atmosphere, according to diplomatic sources, and the two sides did not hold a press conference after the discussion.
In June, the French diplomat warmly welcomed Anthony Blinken, who grew up in Paris and spoke French as a native speaker, and who considered France his second home. However, since Jean-Yves Le Drian described the submarine affair as a stab in the back for an Australian and a harsh American decision, the reception was less cordial.
To prove that France is not isolated, the French foreign minister held talks on Monday with his German, Spanish and Polish counterparts and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell. On Tuesday, he will meet his Italian and Dutch colleagues.
France considers that the stake in resolving the crisis lies not only in French interests, but also in European interests in terms of cooperation between allies and presence in the Indo-Pacific region.
Emmanuel Macron wants France to be recognized as an “Indo-Pacific power” by the Anglo-Saxon allies, but the framework for that is not yet clear. (MTI)