Biden, Macron Discuss Cooperation After Submarine Deal Hurt Relations
(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden discussed military cooperation with French President Emmanuel Macron in a phone call on Friday, ahead of the leaders’ meeting next week designed to repair an alliance frayed by a defense pact with Australia and the U.K. that blindsided Paris.
The White House also said Vice President Kamala Harris would travel to Paris next month to meet with Macron.
The diplomatic blitz comes amid continuing anger in France over an agreement between the U.S., Australia and the U.K. to provide Canberra with nuclear-powered submarines. The deal scuttled a previous $66 billion deal for France to build a diesel-powered sub fleet for Australia. French officials complained that they were taken by surprise and cut out of talks on a broader defense alliance between the three English-speaking countries.
Macron and Biden will meet on the sidelines of the G-20 meeting next week in Rome as they attempt to reset the relationship. The leaders on Friday also discussed efforts to enhance cooperation in Africa and the Indo-Pacific, as well as joint European defense efforts.
“President Biden looks forward to the meeting with President Macron in Rome later this month, where they will continue the conversation, take stock of the many areas of U.S.-France cooperation and reinforce our shared interests and common values as we take on challenges and opportunities together,” the White House said in a statement.
Harris is expected to speak at the Paris Peace Forum on Nov. 11 and will also participate in a conference on Libya on Nov. 12. She and her husband, Doug Emhoff, are also expected to visit Suresnes American Cemetery to mark Veterans Day.
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