• Wednesday, Oct 05, 2022
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Macron meets Blinken as US seeks to restore confidence

  • Published at 04:23 pm October 5th, 2021
Web_French President Emmanuel Macron
File photo: French President Emmanuel Macron and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (not pictured) talk to the media at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France October 11, 2019 Reuters

The one-on-one meeting lasted around 40 minutes with 'common agreement that we have an opportunity now to deepen and strengthen the coordination'

President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday held talks with visiting US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in his first meeting with an American official since the scrapping of a submarine contract with Australia plunged relations into crisis.

Blinken, who has been seeking to patch up ties with France after Canberra ditched the deal as part of a security pact with the UK and US, did not originally have an appointment with Macron on the agenda for his two-day visit to Paris.

The one-on-one meeting lasted around 40 minutes with "common agreement that we have an opportunity now to deepen and strengthen the coordination" even though "a lot of hard work remains to be done," a senior State Department official told reporters in Paris.

The Elysee also confirmed the meeting with Macron, saying Blinken's visit would contribute to "restoring confidence" between the sides.

Macron was furious last month when Australia scrapped a multibillion-dollar deal for French submarines, saying it would pursue US nuclear versions instead.

His government called secret talks leading up to the cancellation "a stab in the back" and the French president recalled his ambassadors from Washington and Canberra.

US President Joe Biden has since tried to make amends, with Karen Donfried, the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, admitting last week that "the September 15 announcement would have benefited from better and more open consultation among allies."

Blinken earlier Tuesday met French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian for an hour in what Le Drian's spokeswoman had flagged as a chance to "identify stages that may allow a return of confidence between our two countries."

He then drove to the Elysee Palace for a scheduled meeting with Macron's security advisor Emmanuel Bonne, but "then had a one-on-one with President Macron for probably about 30 or 40 minutes," the State Department official said.

The mood of the encounter was "serious", the official said. "I don't want to characterise their emotions, but I would say, at least in the discussions we had, it was very cordial and amicable."

A French diplomatic source, who asked not to be named, said that the talks had shown that the American side was aware of the gravity of the situation.

"This was not hours of cuddling to make things better and the Americans also don't think that cuddling is the right thing now or saying that 'we are the best allies in the world'," said the source.

50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail