'We were clumsy...' Biden admits AUKUS deal was not done with a lot of grace
Joe Biden has accepted that the United States was "clumsy" in keeping France out of the AUKUS deal in which nuclear-powered submarines to be sold to Australia.
In a strange attempt to mend strained relations, United States President Joe Biden has accepted that the United States was "clumsy" in keeping France out of the AUKUS deal in which nuclear-powered submarines are to be sold to Australia.
After the deal was signed and announced in September this year, Biden held his first meeting with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron in Italy ahead of the G-20 Summit. The meeting was held at the French Embassy in the Vatican City to mend relations after a diplomatic row over the AUKUS pact. Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States announced a historic security pact in the Indo-Pacific, in an effort to counter Chinese influence in the region.
Terming meeting with Biden as important, Macron said its key to "look to the future" as the two countries face new challenges. Talking about the deal, Biden acknowledged what happened was clumsy. He admitted that the submarine deal was not done with a lot of grace but sought to manoeuvre through the crisis stating that he was under the impression that France had been informed long before.
Macron ignored questions from the media about whether he was still upset with Biden. However, the French President said that the two countries would develop stronger cooperation to avoid a similar misunderstanding. When the pact was signed in September, France accused the US and Australia of lying about a submarine deal. Paris incurred a loss of $60 billion revenue as the Australians cancelled the deal of procuring 6 submarines from the country.
The AUKUS will give Australia access to US technological know-how for building nuclear-powered submarines. The American decision to secretly negotiate a new deal with the Australians drew outrage from Paris. An irritated France temporarily recalled their country's ambassadors to Australia and United States. Paris also reportedly issued a number of statements critical of the Joe Biden administration.