Wednesday, October 27

Aukus Pact: Emmanuel Macron will demand ‘clarification’ from Joe Biden | Aukus


French President Emmanuel Macron was expected to speak by phone on Wednesday with Joe Biden to demand that the US President explain why he went behind France’s back to seal a security pact with Australia and the United Kingdom that it annuls. the first’s 56 billion euro submarine contract with France.

The central part of the Aukus pact is the requirement that Australia cancel its contract to buy 12 French. barracuda diesel-electric powered submarines. Instead, the United States will partner with Australia and the United Kingdom to build nuclear-powered submarines.

The French presidential spokesman said Wednesday’s call would be an opportunity to clarify how this announcement was made and how the United States could resume its relationship with an ally.

Macron awaits “clarification on the US decision to keep a European ally out of fundamental talks on Indo-Pacific cooperation,” Gabriel Attal added, making it clear that French anger has not subsided.

“We hope that our allies recognize that the exchanges and consultations that should have taken place did not, and that this raises a question of trust, from which we must all draw conclusions now.”

France has already said that he has been stabbed in the back by the United States and described Biden’s treatment of his European partners as reminiscent of Donald Trump.

Biden, who promised ruthless diplomacy in his speech to the UN general assembly on Tuesday, has been looking to speak with Macron since the weekend. On Friday, the Elysee withdrew its ambassadors to Washington and Canberra for consultations, in a sign of deep anger over the month-long secrecy surrounding the security pact.

France feels the move not only deprives it of a valuable defense contract, but undermines the main pillar of its carefully laid Indo-Pacific strategy. The secrecy with which the United States negotiated the alternative deal for nuclear-powered submarines has left France in shock, but it has also strengthened the hand of those who insist that the EU must rely more on itself for its own defense and security.

There has been no truce in French anger that has spread to threaten to delay a trade deal between the EU and the United States.

Washington appears to have been shocked by France’s fury, but knows it needs to find a way to contain a dispute that risks damaging Biden’s reputation in Europe.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves le Drian also canceled a meeting scheduled for Wednesday between the foreign ministers of Britain, France, the United States and Germany. Scheduling difficulties were cited, but German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the meeting was abandoned due to “discontent on the French side, which I can understand, and that some things need to be clarified first before we can sit down together in This meeting”. Format”.

Catching the tone of anger in France, Bernard Guetta, a Macronist MEP, described Biden’s marginalization of France as “a mistake, amounting to strategic blindness that will only benefit the Chinese.”

A meeting between the foreign ministers of the five permanent members of the UN security council is scheduled to take place, hosted by the UK.

The meeting, which will likely focus on Afghanistan and humanitarian aid, will be the first opportunity for Liz Truss, the UK’s foreign secretary, to meet Le Drian since his appointment and the security dispute broke out.

The French government too issued a statement denying a front page report in the Daily Telegraph suggesting that Macron was discussing handing over France’s seat on the UN security council to the EU.

By denying the report, the French government described the Telegraph, a newspaper that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson used to write, like an “English tabloid”.




www.theguardian.com

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