Friday 29 October 2021
The United States shakes hands with France
Biden: Submarine deal was ’embarrassing’
A crippled submarine deal is causing tension between the United States and France. But at a meeting in Rome, signals between US President Biden and French President Macron are pointing to reconciliation. This is also due to the recognition of the American.
After the diplomatic scandal over a submarine deal, US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron struck a conciliatory tone during a meeting in Rome. “What we did was embarrassing,” Biden admitted at the meeting at the French Embassy in the Holy See. “It wasn’t done with much elegance.”
At Villa Bonaparte, the US president emphasized that France was a “very important partner”. “We have no older, no more loyal, no more decent ally than France.” The country shares “the same values” as the United States.
Macron, in turn, welcomed the “concrete decisions” made in response to the row over the submarine deal with Australia. “For me, that really starts a trust process.” “We have made clear what we have to make clear,” Macron stressed. Now it is a question of “look to the future”.
The conflict caused an international uproar
The submarine conflict greatly strained relations between the historical allies. The USA, Great Britain and Australia announced an Indo-Pacific alliance in mid-September, which also includes the construction of nuclear submarines for Australia. The fact that Australia then broke up a long-planned, multibillion-dollar submarine deal with France caused an angry backlash in Paris.
Meanwhile, France withdrew its ambassadors from Washington and Canberra. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian accused the allies of “stabbing Paris in the back”. In the dispute, the leaders of the European Union and Germany also sided with France. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas described the US approach as “disturbing” and “realistic”.
The United States immediately tried to sort things out. Biden and Macron have called twice in the past few weeks. During their first phone call, they agreed, among other things, to “in-depth consultations” and a meeting in Europe at the end of October. This happened before the start of the G-20 summit in Rome.
On Friday, Macron greeted Biden with a long handshake, with the two presidents patting each other on the shoulder. Biden said he originally assumed France had long “informed” that the French submarine deal with Australia would fail. Pope Francis has previously welcomed Biden to a private audience. The US President also met with Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Mario Draghi.
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