Aukus Pact: Antony Blinken in Paris to end the submarine crisis – archyworldys

The link between Paris and Washington is reestablished. Communication still has to produce concrete results. This can be summed up in the resumption of intense diplomatic exchanges between the two capitals, after Australia abandoned the contract for the delivery of French submarines. During the feverish days which preceded, on September 15, the announcement of the Aukus strategic partnership between Great Britain, Australia and the United States, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, had had a mad struggle to join his American counterpart, Antony Blinken. Now he is preparing to receive him in Paris, Tuesday, October 5, after a meeting between the two men in New York, on September 23, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

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For ten days, bilateral contacts have multiplied to repair the tear caused by the submarine crisis. A serious breach of confidence, which aroused strong anger in France and called into question the sincerity of American intentions towards their traditional European allies, beyond the agreed slogans. After seven days of quarrel, Emmanuel Macron and Joe Biden spoke by phone on September 22. The unusual release of a carefully thought-out joint communiqué set the tone for the reconciliation efforts. Washington acknowledges that the lack of consultations before the Aukus announcement was regrettable.

Fear of being sidelined

The Biden administration is now seeking to return to the classic tracks of the bilateral relationship and overcome the crisis. Back in Washington, after his spectacular recall to Paris, the French Ambassador, Philippe Etienne, was received at the White House by the National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan, as well as by Antony Blinken. The latter will stay in Paris, a city he knows perfectly well, from October 4 to 6. He was to be received at the Elysee Palace on Tuesday, where he will meet with Mr. Macron’s diplomatic adviser, Emmanuel Bonne.

During discussions with the press, the new Deputy Secretary of State for Europe, Karen Donfried, acknowledged that restoring confidence will take time and will require work – a diagnosis shared by French officials. She also outlined favorable bilateral projects, such as the preparation of the next climate conference (COP26) in Glasgow in early November.

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But the three most pressing issues are the Indo-Pacific region, European defense and the fight against terrorism in the Sahel, where US military support should be stepped up. On the first point, the United States emphasizes that France “Has been a key player in focusing Europe’s attention on this increasingly important area”, according to Karen Donfried. But how can the coordination, or even bring about convergence, be improved between the French strategy in the Indo-Pacific, civil and military, and that of the United States? Paris fears being sidelined by Washington in a region at the heart of tensions with China. The month of October, which will end with a meeting in Europe between Emmanuel Macron and Joe Biden, should serve to clarify these issues. In the meantime, the two leaders should once again take stock from a distance.

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