Macron, Biden have ‘friendly’ talk to defuse submarine row

The Nation  |  Sep 24, 2021

PARIS   -  US President Joe Biden and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron had a “friendly” phone call Wednesday to defuse a deep row over submarine sales to Australia, promising to meet in person to repair the transatlantic relationship. 

The call, which the White House said lasted about 30 minutes, was the first between Biden and Macron since France recalled its ambassador over the surprise US announcement of a deal to build nuclear submarines for Australia -- scuppering a previous French deal to sell conventional submarines. Paris called the US-Australian plan, which was launched as part of a new Indo-Pacific security group along with Britain, a stab in the back and also pulled its ambassador from Australia.

In a joint statement after the call, the two leaders vowed to launch “in-depth consultations... for ensuring confidence” and to meet in Europe at the end of October. The statement also said Macron would order France’s ambassador back to Washington next week.

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