Tuesday, September 21, 2021
Submarine contract failure
Van der Leyen: France’s treatment is “unacceptable”
A submarine deal between Australia and the United States angered France. A violent conflict erupted in the Atlantic Ocean. Now EU leaders are also expressing themselves: Commission Chairman Van der Leyen is strongly critical of the deal. Even EU Council President Michael accused the United States of not being loyal.
In the wake of the controversy over the failed submarine deal, EU leaders have strongly criticized the actions of the United States, Australia and Great Britain against France. EU Commission President Ursula van der Leyen described France’s behavior as “unacceptable” on the American news channel CNN. “There are a lot of unanswered questions that need to be answered,” Van der Leyen said. “We want to know what happened and why.”
EU Council President Charles Michel has accused the United States of “open transparency and distrust”. Michael said before the start of the public debate at the UN General Assembly in New York that the US approach was “incomprehensible” and therefore needed to be “clarified.”
Michael drew parallels with Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump: “America’s first” advocate of policy “was at least very clear – in tone, content and language – that in his opinion the EU was not a useful partner and ally”.
Biden tries to persuade France
A new defense alliance for the Indo-Pacific between the United States, Great Britain and Australia and an agreement to build nuclear submarines for Australia are the backdrop to the extraordinary violent Atlantic controversy. This prompted the Australian government to cancel the long-term submarine agreement with France. The French government responded angrily and invited its ambassadors from Canberra and Washington to discuss. Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Trian complained of a “serious breach of trust.”
The United States, Great Britain and Australia recently adopted compromise tones in order to assuage France’s anger over the broken agreement. US President Joe Biden wants to summon French President Emmanuel Macron soon. Biden, a French government spokesman, asked Macron to speak to him.
A U.S. government official said Biden was looking forward to the interview and would like to talk about “the way forward.” But he added: “We understand the French position. We do not share their views.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke of his country’s “unconditional love” for France. Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnabas Joyce recalled Australian soldiers who fought on the side of France in both World Wars.
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