THE Emmanuel Macron has a phone conversation with US President Joe Biden amid the crisis over the submarine contract that was canceled by Australia It will be a “dialogue for clarification” and not for “reconciliation”, noted today Stephane Sejourne, political advisor to the French president.
“This conversation” in the coming days, before the end of the week “,” will not be a conference for reconciliation, but a conference for clarification, as a problem has arisen both in substance and in the press, “Cesourne told France Inter .
Regarding the press, the LREM / Renew MEP stated “the way in which this contract was canceled (between France and Australia), which raises questions, among other things, about the very meaning of being an ally of the Americans. “
In essence, “behind this Australian shift, there are obviously divergences in the Indo-Pacific strategy,” he added.
With its overseas territories, including New Caledonia, France “has an opinion” on the region and is placed in a logic of “appeasement”, while “the US is mostly in a confrontation with China” and “return with “The Australian contract in the game is much stronger, which will greatly irritate China and bring tension to the region.”
Noting that “France has not received a written request for termination of the contract, as stipulated in the terms of the contract”, the French president’s adviser estimated that “there will definitely be compensation for the contract”, as well as “diplomatic compensation”.
He also argued that “the political response may be European” and that it began to be built with the introduction from Paris of the “concept of strategic autonomy in Europe”, about which “no one wanted to hear”, but “this It is currently being reproduced in all European capitals. “
Then the summit dedicated to it, organized by France during its presidency in the EU in the first half of 2022, “will give the occasion for a number of Europeans to agree on the goals of the common defense”, he noted.
Concluding, Sejourne referred to the first months of the Biden administration, about which he said: “Let us not laugh”: “We may ideologically align with it”, but “there are elements of strategic importance which diverge and this became clear to us with this contract “, As with the issue of Afghanistan.
Submarine crisis threatens European Union-United States Council
The submarine crisis between France, the US and Australia threatens to hold a new US-European Council next week to coordinate the two sides’ technology and trade policies, European sources said today.
“A date was scheduled for next week for the first meeting of the EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC). “We are analyzing the impact of AUKUS (s.s .: the military agreement between Washington, London and Canberra) on this date,” European Commission spokesman Eric Mammer told AFP.
This first TTC meeting was scheduled for September 29 in Pittsburgh, USA. The creation of the TTC was announced in June during US President Joe Biden’s visit to Brussels. This new instrument, which the Europeans have been calling for, embodies a transatlantic approach after years of tension under the presidency of Donald Trump.
It aims to work together to adopt human rights-related regulations, particularly in technology, to counter China’s influence, which is often seen as a threat to Western standards of ethics (oversight, confidentiality of data…).
According to a European diplomat, the French came up with the idea of postponing the Pittsburgh meeting in protest of the security pact reached between the US, Australia and Britain, which led to the cancellation of an important contract for military submarines and Australia.
According to this source, the idea is, however, hostile to the Baltic countries, which are traditionally aligned with Washington, but also with Germany.
“It is up to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to decide,” said another European diplomat.
Asked by Agence France-Presse about the environment of French Foreign Minister Frank Rister, who was to go to Pittsburgh as an observer, he said that no decision has yet been made on whether to confirm or cancel the council.
Twenty-seven foreign ministers meeting in New York on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the UN General Assembly “clearly expressed their solidarity with France,” European Union Foreign Minister Boerez said on Monday night. for which Paris today expressed its satisfaction through the French Deputy Minister for European Affairs Clement Bon.