US President Joe Biden and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron
US President Joe Biden and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron

AUKUS: Macron, Biden agree 'open consultations among allies' could have avoided crisis

ANI | Updated: Sep 22, 2021 23:16 IST

Washington DC [US], September 22 (ANI): Almost a week after the announcement of the Australia-UK-US (AUKUS) trilateral security pact, US President Joe Biden and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron spoke on September 22 and decided to start in-depth consultations aimed at creating the conditions for ensuring confidence among the two countries.
The talks between the two presidents were the first communication since the announcement Australia was scrapping a contract to buy French submarines as part of a security pact with the UK and US.
"The two leaders agreed that the situation would have benefitted from open consultations among allies on matters of strategic interest to France and our European partners. President Biden conveyed his ongoing commitment in that regard," the joint statement read.
"The two leaders have decided to open a process of in-depth consultations, aimed at creating the conditions for ensuring confidence and proposing concrete measures toward common objectives. They will meet in Europe at the end of October in order to reach shared understandings and maintain momentum in this process," it added.
Last week, AUKUS trilateral security partnership was announced by the three countries. Under this new pact, the US will develop nuclear submarines for Australia. France had reacted sharply to the cancellation of a multiple billion-dollar agreement with Australia for 12 conventionally-powered submarines.

Moreover, France had recalled ambassadors from the US and Australia for "consultations."
In the joint statement today, it was announced that President Emmanuel Macron has decided that the French Ambassador will return to Washington next week. He will then start intensive work with senior US officials."
During the takes between Biden and Macron, US President reaffirmed the strategic importance of French and European engagement in the Indo-Pacific region, including in the framework of the European Union's recently published strategy for the Indo-Pacific.
"The United States also recognizes the importance of a stronger and more capable European defence, that contributes positively to transatlantic and global security and is complementary to NATO," the joint statement added.
In the framework of their joint fight against terrorism, the United States commits to reinforcing its support to counter-terrorism operations in the Sahel conducted by European states, the statement added. (ANI)