U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken promised, Friday, better communication with France on a trip to Paris next week amid the submarine dispute.
The State Department announced that Blinken will travel to Paris from Monday through Wednesday for a meeting of the OECD club of advanced market economies and also meet French officials.
France was infuriated last month when Australia canceled a multibillion-dollar deal for French submarines, saying it would pursue US nuclear versions as tensions rise with China.
“We agree that the September 15 announcement would have benefited from better and more open consultation among allies,” said Karen Donfried, the assistant secretary of state for European affairs.
“Our meetings in Paris are part of our commitment toward a process of in-depth consultations going forward. We recognize this will take time and hard work; it will need to be demonstrated not only in words but also in deeds,” she told reporters.
The Secretary said on Twitter he met with French ambassador Philippe Etienne, affirming that they had a productive discussion on steps forward in the U.S.-French relationship.
I welcomed the opportunity to meet with French Ambassador @Ph_Etienne. We had a productive discussion on steps forward in the U.S.-French relationship and discussed enhanced cooperation globally. Looking forward to visiting our French allies in Paris next week.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) October 1, 2021
France accused the United States of betrayal and Australia of back-stabbing and withdrew ambassadors from both countries.
Tensions began to ease when President Joe Biden had a phone call with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron.
Etienne returned Wednesday to Washington and promptly held separate meetings with Blinken and Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security advisor.