France tells US resolution of submarine crisis will take ‘time’ and ‘action’
The way to resolve the crisis between France and the US will take “time” and “action”, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told American counterpart Antony Blinken on Thursday.
Le Drian and Blinken discussed how to restore confidence between the two countries, according to a statement by the French foreign ministry.
Le Drian said the first step had been taken when US President Joe Biden called his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron to discuss the recent developments.
The two diplomats agreed to remain in close contact to continue working on resolving the crisis.
The US and Britain announced on September 15 a new Indo-Pacific security alliance that will equip Australia with nuclear-powered submarines, which is widely seen as a move to counter China’s growing influence in the region.
Australia then scrapped a 2016 multi-billion-dollar contract with France to build 12 conventional diesel-electric submarines.
The announcement enraged Paris that accused the Washington of “duplicity”, and Canberra of “betrayal” and declared that a crisis struck at the heart of Western alliances.
France recalled its ambassadors to US and Australia.