US President Joe Biden’s envoy on climate change, John Kerry, who was also Barack Obama’s secretary of state from 2013 to 2017, told France’s BFMTV that the president was “not fully aware” of the negative impact of the so-called submarine affair on France – write the hill.
As reported in our previous articles, the United States, Australia and Great Britain 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 with US President Joe Biden by phone, and on Tuesday received US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in Macron’s office.
In an interview with French radio just before the secretary of state’s visit, Kerry told Biden he “didn’t know what happened” and only learned of the situation after being asked.
“I don’t want to go into details, suffice it to say that the president is very committed to strengthening relations and this small event is certainly a thing of the past as we move toward a more important future,” the former foreign minister said.
A spokesman for Kerry later clarified in a statement the words of the climate protection envoy, saying that Kerry did not indicate that Biden was not sure about the details of the American University of Kosovo agreement or the decision-making, but about the feelings of the French.
Cover image source: Getty Images
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