Tuesday, September 21, 2021
Controversy over failed submarine deal
Von der Leyen: France’s treatment “unacceptable”
A submarine deal between Australia and the United States angered France. A violent transatlantic dispute breaks out. Now EU leaders are also expressing: Commission President von der Leyen has sharply criticized the deal. European Union Council President Michel also accused the US of lacking loyalty.
In a dispute over a failed submarine deal, EU leaders have sharply criticized the actions of the United States, Australia and Great Britain against France. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on US news channel CNN described France’s treatment as “unacceptable”. Von der Leyen said, “There are many open questions that remain to be answered.” “We want to know what happened and why.”
European Union Council President Charles Michel accused the United States of “a clear lack of transparency and loyalty”. Before the start of the general debate at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Mitchell said the US approach is “incomprehensible”, so “clarification” is necessary.
Michel also drew parallels with Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump: advocates of an “America First” policy were “very clear – at least in tone, content and language – that in their opinion the EU was not a useful partner and ally”.
Biden tries to please France
The background of the unusually violent transatlantic dispute is an allied agreement between the United States, Great Britain and Australia to establish a new security alliance for the Indo-Pacific and to build nuclear submarines for Australia. This prompted the Australian government to scrap a long-term submarine deal with France. The French government reacted angrily and recalled its ambassadors from Canberra and Washington for consultations. Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian complained about a “serious breach of trust”.
The United States, Great Britain and Australia have recently adopted reconciliation tones to quell France’s anger over the broken deal. US President Joe Biden wants to invite French President Emmanuel Macron soon. A French government spokesman said Biden asked Macron to speak to him.
A US government official said Biden was looking forward to the interview and would like to talk about “moving forward.” But he also emphasized: “We understand the French position. We do not share their views.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke of his country’s “undying love” for France. Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce remembers Australian soldiers who fought on the side of France in both World Wars.
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