New York City, US, Sep 23 (EFE).- The United States on Thursday continued to try to smooth things over with France amid a diplomatic rift caused by the new trilateral AUKUS security pact.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken praised Paris’ role on the international stage and said that Washington will have to take concrete steps to regain its ally’s trust.
“We recognize this will take time and hard work, and will be demonstrated not only in words but in deeds,” Blinken said at a press conference in New York City a few hours after a meeting with his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian.
Blinken’s remarks echoed the sentiments of the French foreign minister who said after the meeting that “resolving the crisis between our two countries would take time and require actions” despite the first step towards that having been taken with a telephone call between the US and French presidents on Wednesday.
Among other things, Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron agreed on the return of the French ambassador to Washington next week.
France had recalled its ambassadors to the US and Australia after the latter canceled a lucrative $66 billion contract with a French company for the construction of 12 conventional submarines in favor of US nuclear-powered vessels as part of the AUKUS pact.
Blinken also highlighted France’s role in strengthening European security and defense capacity under the European Union’s new strategy on the Indo-Pacific region as well as in the fight against terrorism in the Sahel.
He said that the US is interested in deepening cooperation in these areas and is “working now at the direction of President Macron and President Biden on a process of in-depth consultations on a series of issues moving forward to, in very practical ways, deepen the cooperation and coordination between our countries, which for many years and in many ways is already remarkably strong, but we can do more, and we can do better.”
“We recognize that this is going to take time, it’s going to take hard work, and we need to demonstrate results not just in what we say but in what we do together… I am convinced that our interests together are so strong, the values that we share so unshakeable, that we will carry forward and get some good work done,” Blinken concluded. EFE