Relations between the United States and France hit a snag this month following the announcement of a trilateral defense agreement between America, Australia, and the United Kingdom.
According to reports, U.S. President Joe Biden has already spoken to French President Emmanuel Macron in an attempt to de-escalate tensions after Macron recalled his nation’s ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia.
“Reach shared understandings and maintain momentum”
Following the conversation on Wednesday, both Biden and Macron reportedly acknowledged that more consultation between allied nations would have benefited the situation.
As for the agreement, it involves sharing nuclear-powered submarine technology with Australia, which had been working with France to provide its submarine capabilities in a now-defunct deal.
France is now set to lose a deal valued at nearly $100 billion to build diesel-powered submarines for Australia.
According to a White House statement, Biden and Macron “agreed that the situation would have benefited from open consultations among allies on matters of strategic interest to France and our European partners,” noting that “Biden conveyed his ongoing commitment in that regard.”
In addition to laying out an intention to develop more comprehensive consultations between the nations, the Biden administration noted that the two presidents “will meet in Europe at the end of October in order to reach shared understandings and maintain momentum in this process.”
“Of course it creates a breach of trust”
Recent reports indicate Macron has already determined that the French ambassador to the U.S. will return to duty in D.C. next week.
As trust in the United States diminishes, France is said to be focusing more on its European Union alliances.
French European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune made it clear in recent remarks to reporters that his nation feels betrayed by the United States.
“When you have your word, it has some value between allies, between democracies, between partners, and in this case, this word was not respected,” Beaune said. “… So of course it creates a breach of trust,” Beaune told reporters.
Some critics are stating their misgivings in bolder terms, including former French ambassador Gerard Araud, who served under both the Obama and Trump administrations and declared that Biden has been a “big disappointment all over Europe” since taking office.