NEW YORK— U.S. diplomats could continue to get the cold shoulder from Europe if President Joe Biden's conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron failed to temper the outrage in Paris over an unexpected Australia-U.S.-U.K. arms deal.
A plan for U.S. and European Union officials to launch a major trade and technology initiative could soon be canceled, as the French, in particular, feel snubbed by the deal.
“There is a discussion, a rather animated discussion ... about what to do with that meeting in light of all the AUKUS business,” a European diplomat, using the acronym for the nuclear submarine agreement, said on condition of anonymity.
79 years after the first submarine-launched commando raid, Navy SEALs say it hasn't gotten any easier
Advances in technology since World War II have enabled far more complex submarine operations, but those operations are still challenging.Decades later, submarine special-operations have become a staple of the Navy SEAL Teams and one of the US military's most valuable capabilities.
FRANCE RECALLS AMBASSADOR FROM WASHINGTON 'WITHOUT DELAY' AS MACRON RAGES AT BIDEN
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is under pressure from France to scrap the meeting, which threatens to jeopardize the most significant initiative that emerged from Biden’s June summit with the European Union leadership. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and at least some EU member states are trying to preserve the trade and technology council meeting, in part by emphasizing its value to Paris and European interests writ large.
“I would argue that for countries in the EU that we are hoping to involve more deeply in our Asia Pacific strategy, having the TTC is essential to that,” a senior State Department official told reporters Tuesday evening. “And we very much welcome the leadership that France has traditionally played in the Asia Pacific and that we have this vehicle, not just on the bilateral side but now on the multilateral side with the EU, to talk about all these issues and to strengthen the connection between what we’re trying to do in the transatlantic space to protect freedom and open, rules-based order and what we’re trying to do in the Indo-Pacific as well.”
France Tells Ambassadors to U.S., Australia to Return Home Amid 'Crisis' with America
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the submarine deal between the U.S. and Australia is "unacceptable behavior between allies and partners."The ambassadors were recalled after Australia scrapped a deal with France for conventional submarines in favor of a nuclear submarine deal using U.S. technology, AP reported. France's foreign minister said in a statement that the behavior was "unacceptable.
That message is tailored to French complaints that Biden’s deal with the Australians — a pact shrouded from Paris until last week, even though it entailed the cancellation of a French contract to sell submarines to Australia — delivered a blow to U.S. and European efforts to cooperate in the Indo-Pacific. And that State Department argument is finding an echo in Europe, as allies balance their willingness to take offense on Europe’s behalf against the value they place on both the trade and technology council and the broader relationship with the United States.
“Everyone thinks the French have been treated badly, but you need to calibrate your reaction so you don't cut your nose to spite your face,” the European diplomat said.
A separate meeting that had been scheduled to take place on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly between Blinken and his counterparts from the U.S., France, Germany, and the United Kingdom — a so-called transatlantic Quad meeting — was also canceled, although Blinken’s team downplayed the significance of the change.
France seeks European support after submarine deal surprise
PARIS (AP) — France canceled meetings with British and Australian officials and is trying to rally EU allies behind its push for more European sovereignty after being humiliated by major Pacific defense pact orchestrated by the U.S. Australia and Britain insisted Monday that the diplomatic crisis wouldn't affect their longer-term relations with France, which is seething over a surprise, strategic submarine deal involving the U.S., Australia and Britain that sank a rival French submarine contract.France recalled its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia for the first time because of the deal, and its anger is showing few signs of subsiding.
“Schedules got in the way of that [meeting] at the ministerial level, but a lot of those countries are going to see each other in other formats,” the senior State Department official said. “With regard to whether we end up needing a quad or having a quad later in the week ... schedules are always dynamic. I think the question is going to be whether it’s needed.”
Likewise, von der Leyen’s team postponed an EU meeting that had been scheduled to prepare for the Pittsburgh forum, even as Blinken arranged to meet with EU high representative Josep Borrell — who is perceived as wanting to “maintain a positive momentum in transatlantic relations,” as the European diplomat put it.
The path forward could be eased by Biden’s acknowledgment, in a Wednesday morning call with Macron, “that the situation would have benefited from open consultations among allies on matters of strategic interest to France and our European partners,” as the presidents said in a joint statement.
“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 also said. “They will meet in Europe at the end of October in order to reach shared understandings and maintain momentum in this process. President Emmanuel Macron has decided that the French Ambassador will return to Washington next week. He will then start intensive work with senior US officials.”
Australian documents showed French submarine project was at risk for years
Australian documents showed French submarine project was at risk for yearsSYDNEY (Reuters) - France shouldn't have been surprised that Australia cancelled a submarine contract, as major concerns about delays, cost overruns and suitability had been aired officially and publicly for years, Australian politicians said.
Blinken’s team forecast Tuesday evening that the Pittsburgh meeting would proceed as planned, but von der Leyen is expected to make a final decision Thursday. And some in Europe sense that a cancellation of the trade and technology council meeting could jolt the Biden administration out of their conciliatory posture.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER
“If it does get canceled, that will be something we have to manage with the Americans. So far, the Americans have realized ... they basically misjudged the situation,” the European diplomat said. “[If the EU goes forward with] canceling TTC or postponing TTC, they might be less inclined to make nice.”
Washington Examiner Videos
Tags:News, Foreign Policy, National Security, European Union, Antony Blinken, France, Trade Policy, Joe Biden, Emmanuel Macron
Original Author:Joel Gehrke
Original Location:Major US-EU meeting threatened by fallout from nuclear submarine deal that blindsided France
'Neglected danger': Nukes not in forefront in speeches at UN .
NEW YORK (AP) — It was the Marshall Islands' turn to speak, and the president wanted to remind world leaders of a cause the United Nations has espoused since its founding. “No effort should be spared," President David Kabua told the U.N. General Assembly this month, "to move towards a world free of nuclear weapons and nuclear risk." It might seem like a must-discuss topic in countries' big speeches at the annual meeting of presidents, prime ministers and other top officials — perhaps especially in a year when a historic nuclear weapons ban treaty take effect, though without participation from nuclear-armed nations.