NewsWorldFranco-American crisis: Emmanuel Macron and Antony Blinken shared a...

Franco-American crisis: Emmanuel Macron and Antony Blinken shared a “long tête-à-tête” to “restore confidence”


After the submarine crisis which broke out in mid-September, the reunion between Paris and Washington remained sober. Emmanuel Macron received, Tuesday, October 5, in Paris, the American Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, in a studious atmosphere but without effusions, to prepare the “Concrete decisions” that the French President and Joe Biden will announce at the end of October in order to seal reconciliation.

the “Long tete-a-tete”, which was not initially on the agenda, must “Help restore confidence between France and the United States” , declared the Elysee. The two allied countries “Continue their coordination work on issues of common interest, be it EU-NATO cooperation, the Sahel or the Indo-Pacific area”.

According to a senior American official, who welcomed an interview “Positive” and “Productive”, there is a ” OK [autour de l’idée selon laquelle] we have an opportunity now [pour] deepen and strengthen coordination ” Franco-American. “But a lot of difficult work remains to be done to identify concrete decisions” which will be submitted to the two presidents for their meeting scheduled for the end of October in Europe, he explained.

Read also Submarine crisis: the way out of the crisis will take “time” and requires “action”, says Le Drian to Blinken

“In-depth consultation process”

The cold snap erupted on September 15, when the President of the United States announced a new alliance with Australia and the United Kingdom in the Indo-Pacific region, as part of his top international priority: countering China. . This partnership, called Aukus, aroused rare anger from France, because it torpedoed a mega-contract to sell French submarines with the Australians.

Also listen Understanding everything about the Australian submarine crisis

It took a phone call between Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron, after a week of intense tension, to begin a certain appeasement. The tenant of the White House admitted that the United States could have better communicated with its long-time ally. And the two heads of state launched a “In-depth consultation process”.

According to the senior American official already quoted, the atmosphere on Tuesday was “Serious”, and the conversations did not focus on French recriminations about Aukus, such as during a previous interview between Antony Blinken and his counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian late September in New York.

“This crisis puts the interests of all Europeans at stake”

The Parisian reunion was nevertheless marked by a less warm welcome than in the past. Jean-Yves Le Drian certainly received his counterpart face to face at the Quai d’Orsay for a long time before the formal meeting, but he only showed himself at least with him. No joint press conference has been scheduled.

In June, the French minister warmly launched ” Welcome to your home “ to Antony Blinken, a perfect French speaker who lived in Paris all his adolescence and considers France as his “Second homeland”. Since mid-September, change of tone: Jean-Yves Le Drian denounced a “Blow in the back” worthy of the much hated method of the Trump era.

To show that France is not isolated, the minister had exchanges on Monday with his German, Spanish and Polish counterparts and with the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell, and was to meet Tuesday with his Italian and Dutch counterparts. “This crisis brings into play the interests of all Europeans concerning the functioning of our alliances and the engagement of Europeans in the Indo-Pacific”, insists a source of French diplomacy.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also The submarine affair: NATO’s silences

A European source recently hoped, for its part, that the crisis will turn out to be ultimately a bad for a good, by allowing a “Clarification” between the two shores of the Atlantic on the ambitions of a European defense complementary to NATO, a project pushed in particular by Emmanuel Macron. The latter also wants the status of “Indo-pacific power” of France be recognized, within a framework that remains to be defined.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also After the submarine crisis, France’s “Indo-Pacific” strategy into the unknown

The World with AFP

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