In an effort to ease tensions in relations between US and France prompted by the submarine deal, Paris will return to Washington the French Ambassador to the US, Philippe Etienne, The Washington Post reports quoting the White House announcement issued Wednesday
The announcement followed the telephone call between US President Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron of France, who agreed that open consultations among allies would’ve been beneficial before last week’s announcement of the new security pact.
Biden and Macron have also agreed to meet at the end of October in Europe for in-depth consultations aimed rebuilding trust between the two NATO allies.
France recalled its ambassador to the US last week – first time since relations were established in the 1778- after the new trilateral alliance known as AUKUS, signed by the US, the UK and Australia, was announced. Canberra, being promised nuclear submarine technology, has scrapped the $65 billion submarine contract it had previously signed with France.
Elysee Palace confirmed its envoy would be returning to Washington hours after French Defence Minister Florence Parly said that some NATO members had agreed to revise the alliance’s strategic concept, Euronews writes.
Addressing at a meeting of the French Senate on Wednesday, Parley said that the reason behind NATO’s existence is transatlantic security, something the US needs to be reminded of apart the fact that being allies does not mean being hostage to the interests of another country.
She noted that NATO’s new concept – agreed with its partners in the alliance on the initiative of Germany – would be discussed at the upcoming summit of the alliance in Madrid.
A source at the Elysee said on Wednesday that a decision is yet to be made about the French ambassador to Canberra, pointing that no call is so far scheduled between Macron and Australian PM Scott Morrison, who already welcomed the communication between Biden and Macron.
The third party in the security pact’s representative, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, mocked earlier on Wednesday the anger of Paris over the submarine deal, saying French officials should “get a grip” and give him a break because, as he claims, the pact is fundamentally a great step forward for global security.