Blinken told France ‘expected better’ in grumpy TV appearance as he works to mend the US-France divide in Paris

AN senior Ministry of Foreign Affairs official Blinken’s described official encounters as “very productive” and forward-looks, but both the US and the French agreed work remains to mend the relationship die was disrupted by the Biden government new defense partnership with the UK and Australia.

Bitterness over die deal and treatment of the Biden administration of the French interrupted an apparition Blinken made on France 2 TV, where the interviewer exposed France’s anger, misunderstanding and feeling of betrayal — and then got personal.

“We expected better, especially with the change of administration, and especially with you,” journalist Anne-Sophie Lapix told Blinken. “You speak French. You are a Francophile. We expected a better one dialogue.”

blink, who spoke French during the interview, said he understood the sentence of betrayal and that Americans realize they “could have – we… should have – done better, in terms of communication.” And he admitted that, “above all, sometimes we tend to… for granted a relationship as important and deep as the one between France and the United States.”

The senior Ministry of Foreign Affairs official recognized that when it comes to repairing the relationship, this journey is not “the end” of the process anyway, we are still in the early stages of to do that.” official described Blinken’s Tuesday meetings with French officials as “serious” in show.

“There wasn’t much renewed lawsuit” of the events leading up to the announcement of the US, UK and Australia Security Agreement die enraged the French and cost the billions in An defense contract it had expected to sell to Australia, the official said. The discussions were focused on “using this as an opportunity” to develop and implement joint efforts on issues in agreement met the board.

Prepare for the meeting of the presidents

to shine is in Paris until Wednesday for meetings of the organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, but the US’s most intense diplomatic energy is focused on repairing the chasm with France. Officials there criticized Biden’s government failure to tell them over the “AUUKUS” alliance of to record them as “brutal” and more reminds me of of the Trump administration than the vision die President Joe Biden offered of restoring trust and cooperation with European allies.

There was no announcement of each new France-American Efforts out of Tuesday’s meetings. The goal was to define areas where the provinces can take actions together in deposit of a meeting between Biden and Macron later this month, official said.

Flashing focused on “to drill down on some of the details on — where exactly are there common interests and how can we die operationalize of develop? plans — tee up for the presidents when they meet later this month, at the end of this month,” the official said, adding that they would like to have some real concrete” results when Macron and Biden meet.

Macron was not initially on Blinken’s schedule so the fact that the French president met with Blinking was seen as positive signal by the US, the official said.

Without in to enter details, official said Blinken and his colleagues had a range of areas where US and France interests overlap – including counter-terrorism in the Sahel and efforts in the Indo-Pacific. The French have proposed “some” of ideas over ways we can strengthen cooperation on security and counter-terrorism” the official said when asked about discussions around the US force attitude in Africa.

In his France 2 TV interview, Blinken promised further consultation on key national Security issues facing France, such as stability of African Sahel region and the renewal of NATO.

Holding the bag

“There is now a very important opportunity … to deepen this cooperation and coordination, of in the Sahel, in the Indo-Pacific, of on transatlantic issues,” said Blinken.

Lapix said France felt… times as if it were left to “hold the bag” on key transatlantic security issues as the US turned to the Indo-Pacific.

“If we define engagement as: how you have a lot of troops in so and so place, that is one question,” Blinken parried. “If we define engagement by what your diplomatic, political, and economic engagement is with your allies and partners, then I believe we are very committed.”

Blinken and the French officials did not speak over France work on each of the AU-UK-US partnership projects, but the official said there could be places for French and EU “opportunities” as they confer with the US and other allies on Indo-Pacific Strategies.

Blinken and Le Drian also agreed met “remain in close contact on Afghanistan and discussed the importance of the Taliban are keeping up with their obligations,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said of the meeting.

Hannah Ritchie from CNN in London and Dalal Mawadi in Paris contributed to this report

Read More: World News

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