After French President Emmanuel Macron met for the first time on Tuesday with visiting US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the latter said on October 7 that talks with French counterparts were “positive and productive”. The meeting between the US delegation led by Blinken and French officials took place in the wake of Canberra’s abandonment of the submarine deal with France, and instead of concluding an AUKUS deal with Washington which has plunged relations between the three countries, the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom with France to an all-time low. In an attempt to strengthen ties, the US Secretary of State traveled to Paris for a two-day visit, despite the fact that he had no prior appointment with Macron, according to French media.
The meeting lasted 40 minutes with a “common agreement”
The face-to-face dialogue between US and French officials lasted around 40 minutes with “a common understanding, which we now have an opportunity to deepen and strengthen coordination although a lot of work remains to be done,” a senior official said. of the State Department. an official said at a briefing in Paris. The Elysee Palace, meanwhile, reported on the meeting, saying the US delegation’s visit was aimed at “restoring confidence” between the two countries in view of the controversial AUKUS submarine deal.
“The conversations we have had over the past 24 hours have been very positive, very productive and reflect a lot of work in progress, the work that has been commissioned by the President. [Joe] Biden and [French] President [Emmanuel] Macron, “Blinken told reporters at a press conference.
France is America’s oldest friend and ally. Our relationship is built on our shared commitment to the same values - democracy, human rights, the rule of law, security and prosperity. pic.twitter.com/cSYPRJPUuT
– State Department (@StateDept) October 5, 2021
Blinken also met his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian for an hour earlier this week, ahead of a meeting with Macron. The spokesperson for Le Drian described the interaction between the two counterparts as an attempt “to identify steps which can allow a return of confidence between our two countries”. Blinken then went to the Elysee Palace to meet with French President’s security adviser Emmanuel Bonne, but “then had a tête-à-tête with President Macron for probably around 30 or 40 minutes,” said the State Department official to reporters in Paris, describing the meeting. as tense.
While the senior State Department official called Blinken’s dialogue with his French counterpart “very productive” and forward-looking, both sides agreed that a lot of work was needed to change and restore relations between the two nations. As Blinken also did on France 2 TV, a French journalist told him: “We expected better, especially with the change of administration, and especially with you, you speak French. You are Francophile. We expected to better dialogue. “