Macron to hold call with President Biden

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France would be seeking “clarification” over the cancelation of a submarine order, said Attal ….reports Asian Lite News

French President Emmanuel Macron will have a call with President Joe Biden in the next few days, the French government spokesman said on Sunday, amid a diplomatic crisis triggered by Australia’s cancelation of submarine contract with Paris.

France said on Friday it was recalling its ambassadors from Washington and Canberra over a trilateral security deal also involving Britain which sank the multi-billion dollar order for French submarines.

“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,” Gabriel Attal told news channel BFM TV.

France would be seeking “clarification” over the cancelation of a submarine order, Attal said.

The scrapping of the contract, struck in 2016, has caused fury in Paris, which claims not to have been consulted by its allies. The Australian government, however, says it had made clear its concerns for months.

After the initial “shock” of the cancelation, discussions would need to take place over contract clauses, notably compensation for the French side, Attal added.

France rebukes Australia, US

France has rebuked Australia and the US for “a major breach of trust and contempt” in the submarine row, following the decision to recall its Ambassadors from the two countries.

Speaking to France 2 television, Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian said the withdrawal of the Ambassadors, for the first time in France’s history vis-a-vis the two countries, was a “very symbolic” act reflecting “a grave crisis between us”, reports Xinhua news agency.

“There has been lying, duplicity, a major breach of trust and contempt,” he said, adding the consequences could impact strategic relations within NATO.

“NATO initiated a discussion of its concept,” said Le Drian.

“The next NATO summit in Madrid will work on a new strategic concept. Obviously what has just happened will be of relevance to this definition.”

France would make a priority developing an EU security strategy when it takes on the bloc’s presidency at the start of 2022, he added.

Under the new security partnership unveiled on September 15between Australia, the UK and the US, known as ‘AUKUS’, Canberra will build nuclear-powered submarines with American and British technology.

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