This is one more step towards normalizing their relations since the Australian submarine crisis. US President Joe Biden and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron spoke by telephone on Friday, October 22, continuing their efforts to resolve their differences. The White House has confirmed Vice President Kamala Harris’s upcoming trip to Paris.
The two leaders “Discussed the necessary efforts to strengthen defense Europe while guaranteeing complementarity with NATO”, said a statement from the US executive, a subject that is particularly close to the hearts of the French.
Emmanuel Macron has indeed made the construction of a real European defense, a project which is struggling to grow nearly thirty years after its launch by the Maastricht Treaty of 1992, a priority for the last six months of his mandate.
Other subjects raised by the two leaders include the situation in the Sahel and cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, according to the White House.
The French authorities wish “A strengthening of American support for anti-terrorist operations conducted by European states in the Sahel”, explained in early October a French diplomatic source to Agence France-Presse, on the occasion of the visit of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Paris.
A meeting between the two presidents scheduled for the end of October
Friday’s call precedes a meeting between Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron which should take place at the G20 in Rome at the end of October and will be followed by the visit to Paris of Kamala Harris, confirmed by the White House and the Elysee.
The Vice President of the United States will visit France on November 11 and 12, on the occasion of the Paris Peace Forum and the International Conference on Libya. She will be received by Emmanuel Macron.
Ms. Harris and Mr. Macron “Will discuss the importance of the transatlantic relationship for peace and security in the world and they will stress the importance of our partnership for planetary challenges such as Covid-19 and the climate crisis”, said the White House.
The call between the two leaders and the visit of Kamala Harris are part of a phase of warming between Paris and Washington after the crisis caused by the announcement in mid-September of a new alliance between the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom.
This partnership, called AUKUS, aroused rare anger from France because it torpedoed a mega-contract for French submarines with the Australians.
A first phone call between Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron, a week later, had made it possible to initiate a relaxation. The tenant of the White House had then publicly made amends on the method.
And the two heads of state had launched a “In-depth consultation process” to restore a hard-seated trust between Paris and Washington.
The Australian submarine crisis is indeed the most serious diplomatic crisis between these two historic allies since the ” no “ French in the Iraq war in 2003.
The case has also opened a debate in France, but also in other EU countries, on the need to accelerate towards greater European sovereignty in defense to free itself from the American umbrella.
Also listen Understanding everything about the Australian submarine crisis