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Joe Biden to speak with French President Emmanuel Macron over recent AUKUS deal
Over the weekend, the US, the United Kingdom, and Australia established an alliance that is believed to counter the growing threat from China but has also drawn criticism from another ally, France. Biden is set to speak with French President Emmanuel Macron over the recent AUKUS deal in the coming days.
The Associated Press reports that Biden will speak to Macron on the phone in the coming days regarding what might have been a diplomatic crisis following the AUKUS deal between the three countries. French government spokesperson Gabriel Attal said that Biden is the one who made the request to speak with Macron, adding that there was some initial “shock” and “anger.” However, Attal revealed that it is time to move forward from the initial crisis that occurred.
The French have described it as a “crisis” as it would signal an end to the 2016 contract worth around $66 billion between France and Australia to build 12 conventional diesel-electric submarines. However, in the AUKUS deal, Australia signed on for eight nuclear-powered submarines. France said that it was not aware of the agreement that was made.
In response, France recalled its ambassadors to the US and Australia. Regarding the AUKUS deal, France believes that it steps on its feet in a region where it has a strong presence regarding the Indo-Pacific.
“France is a country of the Indo-Pacific,” said Attal, citing the French territory New Caledonia. Attal noted that the Indo-Pacific is also a key issue for France. Macron is expected to press Biden for an explanation that, according to Attal, led to a “major rupture in confidence.”
In other news, former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu mocked the US leader for an already-debunked claim that Biden was sleeping through his meeting with his successor Naftali Bennett. The debunked claim was widely spread around right-ring sites and outlets.
“I heard that Biden was very attentive, very, very attentive during the meeting,” said the former Prime Minister during a live Facebook broadcast. Netanyahu went on to mock Biden by dropping his head and closing his eyes. “He lowered his head in agreement.”
The Likud party later released a statement in response to the backlash received for imitating Biden that Netanyahu was mocking Bennett rather than the US leader.