On Wednesday, September 22, President Joe Biden of the U.S. spoke with his counterpart President Emmanuel Macron to resolve a huge rift that occurred last week. The two longtime allies had a falling out after the U.S., together with the U.K. agreed to supply Australia with nuclear based submarines.
Earlier, Australia had a $65 billion contract with France for diesel and electric submarines which got canceled after it struck a better deal with the U.S. and the U.K. A visibly upset Macron recalled the French Ambassador from Washington.
A joint statement released after the phone call between President Joe Biden and President Emmanuel Macron said that the two leaders spoke on September 22, at the request of President Biden.
It also said that Biden and Macron “agreed that the situation would have benefited from open consultations among allies” with regard to matters that were of strategic interest to France as well as to other European allies.
The statement also said that “President Biden conveyed his ongoing commitment in that regard.” The rare, indirect admission of the possibility that a mistake had been committed or a misstep had been taken in a relationship between allies reinforced the seriousness about the diplomatic dispute between the two countries.
The statement also said that the President Joe Biden will meet President Emmanuel Macron in Europe, at the end of next month. This meeting most likely refers to the G20 Summit in Rome, in October. The statement also mentions that the French Ambassador will be back in Washington next week and begin intensive work with U.S. officials.
The White House said that the talks were friendly between the two leaders. The conversation was about 30 minutes long. It took place mid-morning, Washington time. Although Macron had not publicly commented on the fallout except for withdrawing the French ambassador, other government officials had strong comments about how France was treated as a result of the deal and the behavior of all the parties who were involved in the deal.