‘Friendly and typical!’ says the narrator. Despite the backlash, the White House defends Joe Biden’s Aukus call to Macron.
THE WHITE HOUSE insists that Joe Biden’s phone chat with irate French President Emmanuel Macron to resolve the Aukus agreement was polite and routine.
Jen Psaki, the White House Press Secretary, insisted that the tone of the call was nothing to write home about as she defended the US’s rejection of Mr Macron in a massive €31 billion submarine deal that will see America provide Australia with the capability to build nuclear submarines to counter Chinese aggression in the Pacific.
“In terms of the tone of the call, it was friendly,” Ms Psaki added.
“It was one where we hoped this would be the start of things getting back to normal…
“The United States and France have had a long and fruitful relationship.”
Despite what Ms Psaki indicated, correspondent Kathevane Gorjestani told France24 that the Press Secretary refused to say whether Joe Biden apologized to Mr Macron for the snub.
“When she was asked explicitly whether Joe Biden had genuinely apologized to Emmanuel Macron to that issue, she did not answer directly,” the journalist stated.
Ms Gorjestani claimed that Ms Psaki argued that Mr Biden had recognized that there “could have been more consultation” with France.
“And on that issue, the comments coming out of the Élysée Palace and the White House were almost identical, save for one line,” she continued.
“One sentence in which the American statement suggested that open consultation with allies may have helped the situation, whereas the French statement said that consultation could have prevented the situation altogether.”
The remarks come as France is still fuming over Australia’s decision to cancel a large €31 billion diesel-powered submarine manufacturing deal with the French in order to pursue nuclear submarine production using US technology under the new Aukus pact.
Analysts think it aims to offset expanding Chinese military power, but China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian says it “seriously undermines regional peace and security and increases the arms race.”
The deal’s cancellation is a major setback for President Macron, who promised the French after his election that “France is back,” alluding to the country’s future role on the global stage.
“Brinkwire Summary News” reports that France has summoned in its diplomats.