White House Watch

‘We Will See’: French President Still Skeptical Biden Values Relationship After Three Weeks Of Damage Control


French President Emmanuel Macron is still unsure whether President Joe Biden values France as an ally, Politico reported.

“We will see,” Macron said when asked if he thought Biden now understood the value of France’s relationship with the U.S., Politico reported.

France reacted in anger in September when Australia backed out of a submarine deal to instead strike one with the U.S. and United Kingdom. It recalled its ambassadors from the U.S. and Australia, while Macron refused to take Biden’s call for days, Politico reported.

“I just believe in facts,” Macron said, Politico reported. “I do hope. I do think it’s feasible. I do think it’s more productive for both of us. I will see. And I think we scheduled to discuss together mid-October, we will catch up during the G20 and I think it will be the right occasion to see how we can reengage very concretely.”

Macron made the comments at a European Union leaders’ meeting in Slovenia on Tuesday, where he made a point to arrive last, Politico reported. “My point is,” Macron said, “it’s not an issue about words or perceptions. It’s an issue about facts and what to do together.”

A number of officials in the EU believe France is risking transatlantic relations by pitting the union against the U.S. unnecessarily, Politico reported. EU leaders called Biden disloyal for not consulting Paris or Brussels about the deal in a sign of solidarity.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is visiting Paris as part of efforts to fix relations, while National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan will also make the trip on Friday after attending meetings at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

“We sometimes tend to take for granted a relationship as important and deep as the one between France and the United States,” Blinken said in an interview Tuesday.

“And we expected better, especially with the change of administration, and especially with you,” France 2 TV journalist Anne-Sophie Lapix responded.

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