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Macron will speak with Biden this week to address ‘major rupture in confidence’ 


White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron have yet to arrange a phone call, after the row that began last week and resulted in France recalling its ambassador to Washington.

‘The president’s view, having been on the world stage for 50 years, is that you always have to work on your relationships, and that includes with global leaders,’ Psaki said at the White House.

With Paris still fuming over the loss of a multi-billion submarine deal after the US, the UK, and Australia announced a new security arrangement, Psaki said she was ‘not aware’ of any effort to compensate France over the loss of jobs.

She said every step Biden has taken since he assumed the presidency ‘was with the intention of rebuilding alliances.’

‘The president’s view, having been on the world stage for 50 years, is that you always have to work on your relationships, and that includes with global leaders,’ said White House press secretary Jen Psaki

She said the two sides were in ‘active conversation about a call.’ 

When it does happen, ‘you can expect the president’s call to be more about reaffirming our commitment, the United States’s commitment, to our alliance, to our partnership, and to working together on a range of issues, including security in the Indo-Pacific’ region, she said. 

France‘s ambassador to the US continues to fume about being left in the dark about a new security arrangement between the US, Britain, and Australia – saying Monday after being recalled to Paris that France ‘absolutely’ wasn’t informed in advance.   

‘As soon as we learned Wednesday morning (of the deal), I demanded to be seen, I was seen,” by the White House, Ambassador Philippe Etienne told French radio station RTL Monday from Paris.  

But, he added, ‘It was a little late.’

Speaking from Paris amid the dramatic slap from France to its longtime diplomatic ally the US, Etienne complained: ‘We absolutely weren’t informed of the new course.’

French President Emmanuel Macron recalled France's ambassador to the US after being caught unawares of a new security arrangement between the US, Australia and Great Britain

French President Emmanuel Macron recalled France’s ambassador to the US after being caught unawares of a new security arrangement between the US, Australia and Great Britain

The ongoing diplomatic spat will be in the background as President Joe Biden flies to New York Monday for the meeting of the UN General Assembly.

French President Emmanuel Macron is not scheduled to appear, and in another sign of diplomatic pique, he won’t be appearing by video. Instead he ‘ordered’ his foreign minister, Jean-Yves LeDrian, to appear instead, the New York Times reported. 

And in another public demonstration of the US posture, the public schedule released by the White House Monday showed bilateral meetings with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. 

There is no such bilateral meeting listed with the French. 

Biden and Macron are expected to speak by phone in an effort to smooth over relations. Biden returns to Washington from Delaware Monday morning and then flies to New York. 

‘President Biden asked to speak to the President of the Republic and there will be a telephone discussion in the next few days between President Macron and President Biden,” Macron spokesman Gabriel Attal told French channel BFM TV.

President Joe Biden is set to meet PM Boris Johnson of Great Britain and PM Scott Morrison of Australia at the UN Tuesday

President Joe Biden is set to meet PM Boris Johnson of Great Britain and PM Scott Morrison of Australia at the UN Tuesday

France's Ambassador to the United States, Philippe Etienne in a ceremony in honor of the French victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks at the Consulate General of France in NY on Sept 11/2021. Etienne has been recalled to Paris amid the dispute

France’s Ambassador to the United States, Philippe Etienne in a ceremony in honor of the French victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks at the Consulate General of France in NY on Sept 11/2021. Etienne has been recalled to Paris amid the dispute

France was livid after learning about the new deal between the US, Australia, and the UK

France was livid after learning about the new deal between the US, Australia, and the UK

Macron wants explanations from Biden over what caused a ‘major rupture in confidence,’ after France was caught off guard by the arrangement.

‘There was a moment of shock, of anger … Now, we must advance’ he said.  

The French were infuriated not only for being left out of discussions, but for the loss of a $90 billion contract to build a fleet of diesel electric submarines for Australia. Instead, the Australians will rely on US and British nuclear technology.

Etienne said his departure from Washington marks the ‘gravity of the situation.’

But French and Australian officials said Monday the row won’t throw off negotiations between Australian and the EU over a free trade deal. 

France also recalled its ambassador to Canberra amid the dispute. 

State Department official Erica Barks-Ruggles said on a call Monday about the UN meetings that France was an ‘extremely valuable ally,’ and that the US would have the opportunity to interact with France when the five Security Council members meet.

She said Biden’s schedule ‘will remain dynamic as it always does,’ but had no other discussions with the French to announce. 



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