Aukus: France and US seek to mend rift

France and US seek to mend rift
As a result of Aukus, France will no longer be selling submarines to Australia. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: The United States and France have made efforts to end anger which started last week with the announcement of a new security pact between the US, the UK and Australia.

The pact, known as Aukus, cost France a deal worth $37bn to build submarines for Australia.

France said it found out only hours before the public announcement was made.

French President Macron and American president Biden have now issued a joint statement saying the situation would have benefited from open consultations between allies.

On Wednesday, they spoke by phone for half an hour. The leaders will also meet in Europe at the end of next month.

French anger about Aukus was palpable – the French defence minister called the pact a “stab in the back”.

The French president ordered the recall of the French ambassadors to Canberra and Washington, which was highly unusual between allies.

However, the French ambassador to Washington will now return to his post, while there was no word yet on whether the ambassador to Canberra would do the same.

President Joe Biden reaffirmed the importance of French and European engagement in the Indo-Pacific region.

And the statement underlined US recognition of the importance of stronger European defence to complement Nato – one of President Macron’s flagship projects.

Anthony Blinken, US Secretary of State, and the French Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, are expected to hold a bilateral meeting on Thursday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.

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