The French presidency has said it is expecting “concrete measures” from US President Joe Biden when the two leaders speak on Wednesday, after Washington and London seemingly scuppered an Aussie submarine deal with France.
On Wednesday, President Emmanuel Macron’s spokesman Gabriel Attal reiterated Paris’ anger with the US following the announcement last week that Australia would be purchasing nuclear submarines from the US and UK, and would abandon a 2016 French contract.
Attal highlighted that the lack of consultation between the US with France before the announcement of the AUKUS (Australia, UK, US) pact last week was demonstrative of the issues that exist between the allies.
The spokesman also said France hoped the US would detail “concrete measures” to restore trust between the two nations when the presidents speak over the phone later on Wednesday.
It was also stated that there needs to be more recognition from the US as regards European nations’ own sovereignty and security efforts.
The French government has been deeply angered by the actions of the AUKUS partners, with a number of its ministers repeatedly suggesting this is not how allies should act towards each other. Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian even went as far to say Biden was acting like former US President Donald Trump. “This brutal, unilateral and unpredictable decision reminds me a lot of what Mr. Trump used to do,” Le Drian stated.
France has even recalled its ambassador from Washington, the first time it has done so. Paris has also escalated the matter with the EU, claiming it is a wider European issue.
Under the AUKUS deal, the US and UK have pledged to deliver a fleet of nuclear-powered, conventionally armed submarines to Australia. Its signing sees the end of a 2016 deal between Canberra and Paris, worth around $40 billion, in which the Royal Australian Navy was to receive a fleet of 12 of its cutting-edge diesel-electric submarines, to replace its Collins submarines which are more than two decades old.
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