French President Emmanuel Macron to meet US President Joe Biden at G20, hopes to re-engage after Aukus pact


US President Joe Biden speaks with French President Emmanuel Macron. (To file)

Paris:

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday he hoped to bridge a gap with his US counterpart Joe Biden when they met in Rome in late October, saying he wanted longtime allies to work together “in good faith” again. .

The reconciliation at the Group of 20 summit on October 30 and 31 would follow a Biden-Macron phone call last month and potentially end a transatlantic feud sparked last month by the United States’ covert negotiation of a military pact, known as AUKUS, with Australia and Britain to counter China, excluding France.

“We must look with lucidity at the decisions taken by our allies. There have been choices that have been made and I cannot say that France and Europe have been taken into account, but we have a history that is more big (than that) “Macron said upon arriving at a summit of EU leaders in Slovenia.

“We are going to catch up at the G20. I think this is the right opportunity to see how we can re-engage,” Macron said of his scheduled meeting with Biden.

“It’s about facts and what to do together,” he told reporters in the Brdo area, outside the Slovenian capital Ljubljana.

Australia’s decision under UKUS to cancel a lucrative submarine contract with France in September and switch to US-designed nuclear-powered ships has outraged Paris. Macron said this episode was a sign that the EU needs to do more on its own, especially during crises at the borders of the 27-country bloc.

The EU has also defined its own strategy to increase its presence in the Indo-Pacific and counter the rise of China.

“We need to look at how Europe needs to address the challenges of its neighborhood, existing crises, its own security and continue to work in good faith with historic partners and allies,” Macron said, referring to the United States. .

How the EU should deal with China and the US was the focus of the summit dinner.

“We have all observed what happened in Afghanistan, what happened in the Indo-Pacific, what happened with China,” said European Council President Charles Michel, who chairs the summit, referring to the US strategy that undermined the EU’s priorities. He said the EU needed to show “collective intelligence” to shape Europe’s response.

Call to arms

Many in Europe now see the brutal U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, in which the allies felt ignored when they pleaded for more time, as a warning that Washington under Biden is prioritizing its own interests. foreign politic.

But the EU also wants to be a useful ally for Washington.

“The United States has recognized the importance of a stronger and more competent European defense,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday before leaving for Slovenia . “The crises in the European neighborhood call on us to react.”

Macron and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met for about 40 minutes in Paris earlier today and discussed French pressure for greater security cooperation between European nations, a said an American official.

Blinken told Macron that Washington was “certainly in favor of European defense and security initiatives” which can increase capabilities but do not undermine the NATO alliance, the senior State Department official said.

EU leaders will be joined on Wednesday by the six Balkan countries which one day hope to join the bloc.

As the world’s largest trading bloc, the EU wields the power to set rules that can shape policy far beyond its borders, but it has repeatedly failed to coordinate a common foreign and military policy, weakening its influence.

It is particularly torn by China, the bloc’s second trading partner but which Brussels sees as a competitor as Beijing seeks to erode the technological lead of the West.

The EU, along with the United States, Britain and Canada, imposed sanctions on Chinese officials on March 22 for human rights violations, which Beijing denies. Beijing immediately hit the EU with sanctions against European Parliament lawmakers, freezing approval of a recently concluded EU-China investment deal.

(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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