‘Questions of trust!’ Macron and Biden to hash out differences after France 'blindsided'

The French President recalled his ambassadors to America and Australia after the two countries’ leaders stood alongside Boris Johnson to unveil the pact.However, the French Ambassador to the US Philippe Etienne is to return to Washington, DC next week after phone call between the two leaders on Wednesday.

The Aukus deal that upset France will see Australia handed nuclear-powered submarines – in an effort to thwart growing Chinese influence in the Indo-Pacific region.

But by signing up to the deal, Scott Morrison’s Government also reneged on a long-standing multi-billion pound agreement to buy French diesel-powered vessels.

The growing spat threatens to fray relations between France and the US after it was hoped that the election of Mr Biden last year would have eased many of the tensions seen during Donald Trump’s tenure.

An Elysée official told Politico: “The president will speak in the coming hours with the president of the United States.

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“The two leaders have decided to open a process of in-depth consultations, aimed at creating the conditions for ensuring confidence and proposing concrete measures toward common objectives.

“They will meet in Europe at the end of October in order to reach shared understandings and maintain momentum in this process.”e discussions and consultations that should have taken place did not and that this raises questions of trust”.

Moving forward Mr Macron wants to launch a “solid process over time and at a high level to create the conditions to restore trust through actions and concrete measures, not just words,” they added.

In addition to mending relations, France wants the US to realise “the strategic importance of French and European engagement in the Indo-Pacific”.

Mr Macron is also expected to admit that several European countries should contribute more to their own defence – with many failing to meet the two percent threshold that Nato members should spend.

This has long annoyed the US who say that American taxpayers have footed the bill for other countries’ defences for too long.

The current President’s firm response to the Aukus deal has been praised by Nicolas Sarkozy.

The former president said: “I find that President Macron was right to react firmly.”

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega

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