According to a joint statement released by the French government and the White House, the French ambassador to the United States will return to Washington after arguing over a nuclear submarine deal with Australia.
“The two leaders agreed that the situation would benefit from open consultations between allies on issues of strategic interest to French and European partners. [Joe] Biden communicated his continued commitment in that regard, “read a joint statement released Wednesday.
In addition to French President Emmanuel Macron and President Biden meeting in late October, the parties also decided to return to the United States a few days after Macron ordered French Ambassador Philip Etienne to leave Washington. Stated.
Last week Biden announced an agreement between the United Kingdom and Australia. The United States and the United Kingdom will provide Canberra with nuclear submarines. But that meant Australia had to renew its agreement with France (reportedly worth $ 65 billion) to provide French submarine technology.
The French Foreign Ministry office has issued a number of angry statements condemning the betrayal of the three countries before drawing ambassadors to Washington and Canberra. It is not clear whether the French ambassador to Australia will return in the near future, and a joint statement released Wednesday did not mention it.
Etienne continued the statement as Biden reaffirmed the EU’s Indo-Pacific strategy “the strategic importance of France and Europe’s involvement in the Indo-Pacific region, including the framework.”
“The United States also recognizes the importance of stronger and more capable European defense, which actively contributes to transatlantic and global security and complements NATO,” the statement said.
Biden’s first speech at the United Nations General Assembly and promoting diplomacy on the international arena created a diplomatic rift between the United States and France, allies in much of American history. The Biden administration was also hit hard on how it handled the military withdrawal and chaotic evacuation of thousands of people from Afghanistan.
EU Foreign Policy Officer Josep Borrell told reporters that a block of 27 countries is supporting France in a rift with the United States, Britain and Australia: “More cooperation, more coordination, “Less fragmentation” was promoted.
“Sure, we were surprised at this announcement,” Borrell said, referring to last week’s announcement.
Another EU official, European Council President Charles Michel, said it was difficult to understand the Biden administration’s decision.
“Why? Because the United States is back with the new Joe Biden administration. This is the historic message sent by this new administration, and now we have a question. What does that mean … America Did you come back? Did the United States return to the United States or somewhere else? I don’t know, “he told reporters in New York this week.
The Department of Homeland Security said on Monday that it would ease restrictions on fully vaccinated travelers from the European Union, which have been in place since the pandemic began early last year. White House officials said the decision was based on scientific data and not a political motivation.