Amid nuclear submarine contract row, Biden seeks early talks with Macron to clear air  

WION Web Team
Washington Published: Sep 19, 2021, 07:30 PM(IST)

US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron. Photograph:( Others )

Story highlights

After a controversy over a submarines contract led to tensions, US President Joe Biden looks to talk with French President Emmanuel Macron to clear air. The move to cancel the huge contract for diesel-electric French submarines by Australia has not gone down well in Paris. Canberra is looking for American nuclear-powered vessels instead, with the announcement of a US-Australian-British defence pact

In an apparent effort to clear air after a row over a submarines contract sparked rare tensions between the allies, US President Joe Biden has requested for early talks with French President Emmanuel Macron, France said on Sunday. 

The announcement came after Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison rejected accusations that Canberra lied about plans to cancel the contract to buy French submarines. The PM said he had raised concerns over the deal "some months ago".  

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The decision of Australia to tear up the deal of French submarines in favour of US nuclear-powered vessels has sparked outrage in Paris.   

In an unprecedented move, Macron has recalled France's ambassadors to Canberra and Washington.  

On Sunday, French government spokesman Gabriel Attal said there would be a telephone conversation between Biden and Macron "in the coming days" at the request of the US president.  

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After the announcement of a US-Australian-British defence pact that prompted Canberra's cancellation of the huge contract for diesel-electric French vessels, Macron will ask the US president for "clarification".   

Attal said, "We want explanations." The US have to answer for "what looks a lot like a major breach of trust".  

(With inputs from agencies)   

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