Biden: Rollout of submarine deal that irked France was 'clumsy'

Under the terms of the so-called AUKUS agreement, Australia has terminated a multi-billion dollar submarine delivery agreement with France in order to enter into the new pact with the United Kingdom and the United States that will include the construction of American nuclear submarines.

The AUKUS announcement enraged France and prompted Paris to dismiss its ambassadors in Washington and Canberra, threaten to torpedo trade negotiations between the EU and Australia and press for a postponement of talks between the EU and the US on technology and trade.

A week later, Biden called Macron to cool diplomatic tensions between their countries. During this conversation, the American President admitted that Washington should have consulted Paris on the AUKUS agreement and promised to meet his French counterpart in Europe in October.

At that summit on Friday, Biden described France as an “extremely valued partner” and claimed the failed submarine purchase agreement between Australia and France: “I got the impression that France had been informed long before that the deal would not go through comes.”

For his part, Macron said he and Biden had “worked out what we needed to sort out” and that “the important thing now is to be certain that such a situation will not be possible in our future.”

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