United States President Joe Biden admitted to his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron this Friday that the crisis sparked by the frustrated sale of submarines to Australia was the result of “awkwardness” by the White House in a gesture that the Gallic leader accepted as a starting point for strengthening bilateral relations with a view “into the future”.
“What we (the United States) did was awkward. We didn’t do it very elegantly,” Biden said, accompanied by his French counterpart, at the first face-to-face meeting between the two after Australia broke a multi-billion dollar dollar with a French shipping company to instead favor an alliance with the USA and Great Britain, the so-called AUKUS Agreement.
The French government immediately called its ambassadors for consultations, while French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian viewed this agreement as a “stab in the back”, particularly for French interests in the Indo-Pacific region, where more than a million compatriots. Since then, the United States has apologized to its historic ally through various channels, as the US President repeated this Friday.
“I got the impression that things happened that didn’t. I believed France was informed about the deal in advance and it wasn’t. I didn’t know. I swear to God,” said Biden during the performance in Villa Bonaparte, the French embassy in the Vatican.
Macron, for his part, preferred to focus on diplomatic progress between the two countries after the crisis, which he saw as a positive opportunity because “since then we have shared efforts, a political response and increased” cooperation between the United States and France, and we have to look to the future, “he said.
“We made it clear what needed clarification, and it was an extremely important clarification,” added Macron, adding what happened in an agreement that, he argued, “was not at stake with the United States.” “The important thing now is that this situation does not repeat itself in the future. What counts now is what we will do together in the coming weeks, months and next year,” he said.