Joe Biden made an act of contrition yesterday in a call with Emmanuel Macron, but not amendment purpose. It is rare for a White House statement to include an apology, but the one sent by the US presidency yesterday included these: “The two leaders agreed that the situation would have been better if there had been open consultations between allies on matters of interest. strategic for France and our European partners.
President Biden conveyed his continued commitment in that regard. ”In other words, Biden admitted that he should have informed France of the Indo-Pacific security pact, called Aukus, which implies that Australia will cancel a contract of $ 65 billion to buy French diesel submarines to buy other nuclear ones from the US Paris learned from the press, and that has caused a fire that has even led to the call for consultations of its ambassador here in Washington.
Not even Trump
Not even Trump, with his constant provocations and tirades against European partners, had provoked such ire in Paris. Now the French speak of treason, and Biden tries to calm them, but without giving his arm to twist. The contract for the submarines remains, as does the new security alliance. In fact, despite the statement, the day before President Biden sat down to chat with his Australian counterpart, Scott Morrison, a crucial part in this international intrigue, and before him he said: «USA. it has no closer and more reliable ally than Australia. ‘
It was a blow to the French, fundamental allies for the United States to achieve its independence, and the first nation to establish friendly and diplomatic ties with Washington. Veterans in the US capital recall that this is a very low point in relations between Paris and Washington, at the level of when in the Capitol cafeteria they stopped calling the French fries «french potatoes“(” French fries “), as they were baptized here, and they called them” potatoes of freedom “, because the Elysee was boycotting plans at the United Nations to invade Iraq under the false notion that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.
In French and English
Boris Johnson, the prime minister of the United Kingdom, was at the White House on Tuesday afternoon, and then had dinner with Morrison, the Australian president. Asked by the media about the angry reaction of the French, Johnson replied in a mixture of French and English: “Prenez un grip about all this and donnez-moi un break.”
Basically, he asked them to take a moment to calm down and breathe. The British Prime Minister added: “This is fundamentally a great step forward for global security. They are three very like-minded allies who are side by side setting up a new alliance for the exchange of technology. It’s not even exclusive. ”In addition to offering a rare apology in an official statement from an entire US president, Biden will take a trip to Europe next month to meet Macron and try to put plasters on the wall. relationship. But the new agreement with UK and Australia it keeps.
Republicans, for their part, don’t seem particularly upset after the French snub. The reason is that Biden, true to his style, has negotiated a pact that Trump himself would have signed: an alliance with two partners who take the Chinese threat as seriously as Washington. And in that section, that of the threat of an increasingly powerful and armed China, there are not many differences between the Republicans and the bulk of the Democrats. France’s partners in the European Union agreed on Tuesday to put the dispute at the top of the bloc’s political agenda, including a summit next month.