France and the US have mended the rift that began last week with the controversial Aukus deal between the US, UK, and Australia. The security pact between the trio ended another submarine contract (non-nuclear) between France and Australia. Paris reported that it lost 37 billion USD in building submarines for Australia.
However, according to recent updates, the Presidents of both countries have released a joint statement saying that everything would have been fine with open consultations between allies.
According to reports, Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron had a telephonic conversation for half an hour and agreed to meet in Europe by the end of October. French Ambassador, who was recalled on 18th September will also be coming back to the US.
The unstated purpose of the Aukus deal is widely believed to be the constraining of China’s trade power in the Indo-Pacific.
France and the US Talk on the Matter of Trust
The deal angered France because it was informed only a few hours before the UK, UK, and Australia made a joint public announcement. France wanted to be included in the decision because the pact demanded the cancellation of Australia’s contract with France to acquire diesel-powered submarines and instead get nuclear-powered subs from the US. France said that it was a breach of trust from Australia’s side and also expected the US to explain the reason why it excluded a European ally from an important decision in the Indo-Pacific region.
In light of renewed friendship, officials from France and the US are also expected to hold a bilateral meeting on Sept 23 at the UN General Assembly in New York.
Stronger Defense Capabilities for Europe
Many analysts have discussed some points from the joint statement by France and the US. For instance, Biden has reaffirmed the strategic importance of France’s engagement but also forwarded an underlying message that European countries should contribute more in their defense strategies.
Moreover, the US also mentioned its assistance in France’s G5 Sahel counterterrorism mission to oust Islamist militants from 5 regions of Sub-Saharan Africa.
The statement helped in removing the doubts about the US considering France an unreliable partner in countering China’s hold over the trade-in Indo-Pacific.
Are Both Countries Really Friends Now?
France and the US got their points across in a well-crafted statement but the canceled contract with Australia will stay that way. The US offered to lend extra anti-terrorism help in the Sahel and reassured that there was no effort to exclude France deliberately.
It was probably the secrecy surrounding the Aukus deal that gave an impression that the English-speaking countries have considered themselves as the only alliance capable of strategizing against China.
The Asian powerhouse however has criticized the Aukus deal by accusing the US, UK, and Australia of having a “cold war mentality”. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson denied the claims of the pact promoting conflict with China.