French and American officials said the two discussed restoring confidence after security agreements and tight submarine deals.
Emmanuel Macron and U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Brinken held talks in Paris. This is the first time that a French leader has met with U.S. officials since AUKUS’s anger brought the relationship between the two countries into crisis.
The developments on Tuesday came as the administration of US President Joe Biden (Joe Biden) took action to repair the damage to the relationship, excluding France from AUKUS, a new security initiative involving the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.
The deal announced last month allowed Australia to avoid a multi-billion dollar contract to purchase French-made submarines and instead purchase nuclear submarines produced by the United States and Britain, which angered Paris.
Brinken is attending a meeting of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in the French capital and told reporters that he will meet with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (Jean-Yves Le Drian) later on Tuesday Speaking on the confusion of AUKUS.
A State Department official told reporters that the unannounced one-on-one meeting between Brinken and Macron lasted about 40 minutes.
The official, who asked not to be named, said that the meeting reached a “consensus, and we now have the opportunity to deepen and strengthen coordination,” although “there is still a lot of hard work to do.”
Consequences of AUKUS
The Macron government described the secret negotiations leading to the cancellation of the Australian contract as a “stabbing in the back” and briefly recalled the ambassadors in Washington and Canberra.
After former President Donald Trump took a more confrontational approach to European allies, Paris described the incident as a blow to Biden’s oath to restore transatlantic relations.
The Biden administration later admitted that its handling was poor and could have coordinated more with France.
However, Washington stated that the defense agreement is not meant to offend European allies or replace existing alliances in the Pacific.
Although the September call between Biden and Macron helped ease the quarrel, Paris said it needed time to overcome the differences and claimed the current situation Underscore Europe needs to develop its own security and defense plans.
Macron and Biden will meet in person in the coming weeks, and a State Department official said on Tuesday that Brinken and the French president discussed joint projects that may be announced after the meeting.
The official did not provide more details.
Brinken’s visit was planned long before the impact of AUKUS, and its stated purpose was to co-chair the Paris-based OECD ministerial meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss climate change and security issues.
Former Secretary of State and current US climate envoy John Kerry also participated in the OECD talks, which will be held in Glasgow, Scotland, a few weeks before the next UN-supported international climate conference COP26.