European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Monday called “unacceptable” the way France was treated under the security agreement between the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom. “One of the member states was treated in an unacceptable way (…) ‘We want to know what happened and why,'” she told CNN’s Christian Amanpour.
Ursula von der Leyen is the first female president of a European institution to respond to the announcement of this agreement, called AUKUS, which led to the termination of an important arms contract between France and Australia. The A$90 billion (€56 billion) bid for 12 diesel-powered submarines was often called the “decade of the century”.
Meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly
The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, said Friday that the European Union had not been consulted or informed before the announcement of the strategic partnership for the Indo-Pacific region between Washington, London and Canberra. The foreign ministers of the European Union will discuss the results of this agreement on Monday evening during a meeting in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.
“This meeting will be chaired by Josep Borrell, which will be the first opportunity to discuss the implications and consequences of this agreement for the European Union and its member states,” his spokesman said. “The meeting will take two hours and it is expected that Mr. Borrell will report on that,” he added.
Biden ‘impatient’ to speak with Macron
In addition, Joe Biden is “impatient” to meet with his counterpart Emmanuel Macron, according to a senior US official. Confirming the information provided by France, that the US President requested this interview, the senior official said: “We have run out of patience” to have this phone conversation. Joe Biden wants to “express his desire to work closely with France in the Indo-Pacific and on the international stage.”
To express its outrage, France recalled its ambassador to the United States, in an unprecedented act towards this historical ally, and its representative in Australia, the country of origin of the crisis. Paris also canceled a meeting between French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly and her British counterpart Ben Wallace.
Jean-Yves Le Drian, the head of French diplomacy who will speak at the UN podium, accuses the leaders of the three signatories to the American University of Kosovo agreement of hiding their negotiations for months and denouncing a “major breach of trust” between NATO allies. .
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