French ambassador to the US Philippe Etienne says he DEMANDED to be seen by White House after AUKUS submarine deal went through 'but i
French ambassador to the US Philippe Etienne says he DEMANDED to be seen by White House after AUKUS submarine deal went through ‘but it was a little late’: Macron will speak with Biden this week to address ‘major rupture in confidence’
- France requested the phone call between the two leaders for ‘clarification’
- France recalled its ambassador to the US Friday, escalating the dispute
- Ambassador Philippe Etienne says France ‘absolutely’ was not informed
- Biden will meet with British PM Johnson and Australian PM Morrison in New York
- The bilateral meetings come as the UN General Assembly meets
- Biden and French President Macron are expected to speak by phone
France’s ambassador to the US continues to fume about being left in the dark about a new security arrangement between the US, Britain, and Australia – saying Monday after being recalled to Paris that France ‘absolutely’ wasn’t informed in advance.
‘As soon as we learned Wednesday morning (of the deal), I demanded to be seen, I was seen,” by the White House, Ambassador Philippe Etienne told French radio station RTL Monday from Paris.
But, he added, ‘It was a little late.’
Speaking from Paris amid the dramatic slap from France to its longtime diplomatic ally the US, Etienne complained: ‘We absolutely weren’t informed of the new course.’
French President Emmanuel Macron recalled France’s ambassador to the US after being caught unawares of a new security arrangement between the US, Australia and Great Britain
The ongoing diplomatic spat will be in the background as President Joe Biden flies to New York Monday for the meeting of the UN General Assembly.
French President Emmanuel Macron is not scheduled to appear, and in another sign of diplomatic pique, he won’t be appearing by video. Instead he ‘ordered’ his foreign minister, Jean-Yves LeDrian, to appear instead, the New York Times reported.
And in another public demonstration of the US posture, the public schedule released by the White House Monday showed bilateral meetings with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
There is no such bilateral meeting listed with the French.
Biden and Macron are expected to speak by phone in an effort to smooth over relations. Biden returns to Washington from Delaware Monday morning and then flies to New York.
‘President Biden asked to speak to the President of the Republic and there will be a telephone discussion in the next few days between President Macron and President Biden,” Macron spokesman Gabriel Attal told French channel BFM TV.
President Joe Biden is set to meet PM Boris Johnson of Great Britain and PM Scott Morrison of Australia at the UN Tuesday
France was livid after learning about the new deal between the US, Australia, and the UK
Macron wants explanations from Biden over what caused a ‘major rupture in confidence,’ after France was caught off guard by the arrangement.
‘There was a moment of shock, of anger … Now, we must advance’ he said.
The French were infuriated not only for being left out of discussions, but for the loss of a $90 billion contract to build a fleet of diesel electric submarines for Australia. Instead, the Australians will rely on US and British nuclear technology.
Etienne said his departure from Washington marks the ‘gravity of the situation.’
But French and Australian officials said Monday the row won’t throw off negotiations between Australian and the EU over a free trade deal.
France also recalled its ambassador to Canberra amid the dispute.
State Department official Erica Barks-Ruggles said on a call Monday about the UN meetings that France was an ‘extremely valuable ally,’ and that the US would have the opportunity to interact with France when the five Security Council members meet.
She said Biden’s schedule ‘will remain dynamic as it always does,’ but had no other discussions with the French to announce.