US President Biden to meet France’s Macron on Friday: White House

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US President Joe Biden will meet with French counterpart Emmanuel Macron in Rome on Friday, the White House said Tuesday.

The bilateral meeting will be ahead of the G20 summit in the Italian capital, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters. Biden will meet Pope Francis at the Vatican the same day.

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The Biden-Macron meeting is billed as a chance to settle a dispute that erupted after Australia scrapped a deal to buy French conventional submarines in favor of a new plan to acquire US nuclear-powered submarines.

The episode saw France not only stripped of a lucrative contract but prompted Paris to question its transatlantic ties.

Macron briefly recalled France’s ambassador to Washington, while Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian compared Biden’s unilateral methods to ex-president Donald Trump’s but “without the tweets.”

Biden leaves for Rome on Thursday, and will follow the G20 meeting on the weekend with the UN climate summit in Glasgow on Monday and Tuesday.

Read more: Biden, Macron discuss ‘stronger’ European defense: White House

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