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EU says rift over with US on French submarines

Published: Updated:

A bitter transatlantic rift is over, the European Union’s top diplomat declared Friday, a month after France was infuriated with the United States over losing a massive submarine contract in Australia.

“We are not going to be masochist and insist once again in our own problems,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on a visit to Washington.

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“It has been an incident, it has been some misunderstanding, it has been a lack of communication,” he told reporters.

“That’s it, that’s over. Let’s move forward.”

France last month recalled its ambassadors, accusing the United States of deceit and Australia of backstabbing, after Canberra scrapped a multi-billion-dollar contract for French conventional submarines.

Australia said it had decided to pursue nuclear submarines amid rising tensions with China and won the right to the technology as part of a new three-way alliance with the United States and Britain.

Tensions began to ease when US President Joe Biden spoke by telephone with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron and said that Washington could have communicated better with its historic ally.

Borrell at the time voiced solidarity with France, alongside Germany a top power in the 27-nation bloc.

Read more: Australia to get US nuclear submarine technology as China looms large