AP

France’s Macron to talk to Biden amid crisis over submarines

Sep 19, 2021, 12:06 PM
French President Emmanuel Macron makes statements during the EUMED 9 summit at the Stavros Niarchos...
French President Emmanuel Macron makes statements during the EUMED 9 summit at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens, Friday, Sept. 17, 2021.The leaders of Europe's Mediterranean countries pledged Friday to expand cooperation against climate change, at a meeting in Athens held in the aftermath of massive wildfires that ravaged parts of southern Europe. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
(AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron will speak in the coming days with President Joe Biden in their first contact since a major diplomatic crisis erupted between France and the United States over a submarine deal with Australia, an official said Sunday.

The phone call is at the request of Biden, government spokesman Gabriel Attal said, adding that there was “shock” and “anger” at first in France over news of the deal. But now it’s time to try to move forward, he said.

What the French now call a “grave crisis” erupted over the sudden, surprise end to a 2016 contract worth at least $66 billion between France and Australia to build 12 conventional diesel-electric submarines. Instead, Australia signed on with the United States and Britain for eight nuclear-powered submarines. France insists it was not informed of the deal in advance.

France recalled its ambassadors from the United States and Australia in a sign of the seriousness of the crisis.

Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian met Sunday with the two ambassadors to discuss “the strategic consequences of the current crisis,” the ministry said without elaborating.

“What’s at play in this affair, this crisis … are strategic issues before being commercial issues,” Attal told BFMTV. “The question is … the forces present, the balance, in the Indo-Pacific where part of our future is at play, and our relations with China.”

The deal by the United States reflects the American pivot toward the Indo-Pacific region, seen as increasingly strategic as China bolsters its influence there. Yet France feels the deal steps on its feet in a region where it has long had a strong presence that it, too, is working to bolster, in addition to a five-year contract with Australia.

“France is a country of the Indo-Pacific,” Attal said, noting the French territory of New Caledonia, the French citizens living in the region and the French military forces based there.

The Indo-Pacific is also an issue for Europe, he said.

Macron will be seeking explanations from Biden about what led to a “major rupture in confidence,” the spokesman added. “There was a moment of shock, of anger … Now, we must advance.”

On Friday night, Le Drian railed against what France views as a betrayal marked by “duplicity, disdain and lies” in the submarine affair.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Sunday that France “would have had every reason to know that we have deep and grave concerns” about the capability of France’s Attack class subs, which he said can’t meet Australia’s strategic interests.

Today’s Top Stories

AP

In this undated photo released by Toyota Motor Corp., its bZ4X vehicle is shown during an online pr...
YURI KAGEYAMA AP Business Writer

Toyota recalls electric car for faulty wheel that may detach

The "bz" in the recalled model's name, as well as others in the works, stands for a "beyond zero" series, including sport-utility vehicles of all sizes, pickup trucks and sportscars, according to Toyota.
3 days ago
Committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., gives opening remarks as the House select committ...
The Associated Press

Ginni Thomas responds to 1/6 panel, hearings stretch to July

The public hearings into the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol will stretch into July.
4 days ago
jan. 6 committee hearing...
ERIC TUCKER Associated Press

1/6 panel to hear of Trump’s pressure on Justice Department

The hearing Thursday is the fifth this month by the House committee investigating the run-up to the insurrection at the Capitol
4 days ago
The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)...
MARK SHERMAN Associated Press

Justices rule religious schools must get Maine tuition aid

The most immediate effect of the court's ruling beyond Maine probably will be felt next door in Vermont, which has a similar program.
6 days ago
A video exhibit plays as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the C...
FARNOUSH AMIRI and LISA MASCARO Associated Press

1/6 panel to hear from Raffensperger, others Trump pushed

The public hearing, the fourth by the panel this month, stems from its yearlong investigation into Trump's unprecedented attempt to remain in power, a sprawling scheme that the chairman of the Jan. 6 committee has likened to an "attempted coup."
6 days ago
A Yellowstone National Park ranger is seen standing near a road wiped out by flooding along the Gar...
MATTHEW BROWN and AMY BETH HANSON

Yellowstone Park aims for quick reopening after floods

Most of Yellowstone National Park should reopen within the next two weeks — much faster than originally expected after record floods pounded the region last week and knocked out major roads, federal officials said.
7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
France’s Macron to talk to Biden amid crisis over submarines