Washington – (AFP)
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken will travel to Paris next week to meet with French officials and try to achieve “concrete measures” to complete reconciliation between the United States and France after the submarine crisis.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken will hold talks in Paris next week with French officials, the US State Department announced Friday, in a fresh attempt to ease tensions after French anger over Australia’s abandonment of a contract to buy French submarines.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said Blinken will travel to Paris from Monday to Wednesday to attend the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) meeting, and “will also meet with his French counterparts to continue talks on strengthening the vital relations between the United States and France on a range of issues.”
Price added that Blinken and the French will discuss, in particular, “security in the Indo-Pacific region”, but also “the climate crisis, economic recovery after the Covid-19 epidemic, the transatlantic relationship, and cooperation with our allies and partners, to raise challenges and seize opportunities at the global level.”
From Paris, Blinken will travel to Mexico on his first visit to the neighboring country of the United States as Secretary of State. Last month, France expressed outrage over Australia’s termination of a 55-billion-euro contract to buy 12 French submarines for US nuclear-powered submarines.
Paris accused the United States of treason, and briefly recalled its ambassador to Washington for consultations. The diplomatic crisis appears to be easing after phone conversations between US Presidents Joe Biden and French Emmanuel Macron last week, during which Biden acknowledged that the United States could have communicated better with its old ally.