What can be called hailed as a significant diplomatic win for the French President, his US counterpart, Joe Biden said his security agreement with the United Kingdom and Australia, had been “clumsy” and sought to turn the pages back to normalcy, answering in the first diplomatic meet up between the two leaders post the US-French diplomatic relations became strained.
Calling the French as their oldest and most loyal ally, Biden was keen on covering up the damage done. “I think what happened was, to use an English phrase, what we did was clumsy. It was not done with a lot of grace,” Biden said. “I was under the impression certain things had happened that hadn’t happened. And – but I want to make it clear: France is an extremely, extremely valued partner – extremely – and a power in and of itself.” He added.
The diplomatic relations between the two countries became strained when the United States single declared the formation of the US-UK-Australia strategic partnership, or popularly known as AUKUS, which included the sale of nuclear powered submarines to Australia, that cancelled the 2016 French-Australia submarine deal. The US decision to secretly negotiate without consulting France, drew wide criticism from the French, even calling it a betrayal, and temporarily recalled its ambassador from Washington and cancelled the gala at the US capitol.
However, Macron was keen on asking for a commitment from US to not ditch its strongest partner again. “Truth is like love: Declarations are good, but proof is better.” He said, while emphasizing on the assured US commitment towards the European defense framework.
Both the leaders also discussed Iran, Supply chain management, steel and aluminum tariffs and rising Chinese influence in the region.
With Macron set to re-run for the Presidential bid after six months and France set to take over the rotating Presidency for the European Union in January, the meet comes quite at a significant time. The French also expects US support in the African Sahel region where the French troops are fighting an Islamist insurgency.
What will be interesting to observe further is the way in which Macron will be dealing with his frenemy United Kingdom and mending relationship with Australia at the G20 summit in Rome.
The author graduated in Economics and Political science and is currently pursuing her Master's in East Asian Studies from University of Delhi. She is quite keen in understanding diverse foreign policies and societies and their impact on Global Geopolitics.