France continues to snub the UK

Notice of extreme cold between France and the United Kingdom. If the exasperation of the French has subsided, after President Emmanuel Macron’s phone call to US President Joe Biden on Wednesday, September 22, it remains at its height vis-à-vis London, more than a week after the resounding announcement of the Aukus alliance. Paris initially treated with the greatest contempt the participation judged “Opportunist” from London to the project to deliver nuclear-powered American submarines to Australia, to the detriment of the contract signed in 2016 with France.

Great Britain is the “Fifth wheel of the carriage” in this case, even dropped the head of French diplomacy, Jean-Yves Le Drian. Ambassador to London Catherine Colonna was not recalled last Friday, unlike her counterparts in Washington and Canberra: a way of signifying that the UK was not taken seriously, or even ignored by the French leaders. The latter also did not appreciate the latest comments from Boris Johnson, who suggested “To his best friends” French, on the sidelines of his trip to the United States, ” to make a break “ in their counter-offensive.

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British conservative media, Daily Telegraph in mind, who struggle to take seriously the reasons for the “Fury” French about Aukus, made their honey from his tirade in Franglais (“Take a grip about this and give me a break”, in other words : “Calm down and let go of me”). Little worried about easing tensions with Paris, Boris Johnson added to the provocation, saying to himself “Taken aback” by French anger and the reminders of ambassadors.

Unlike the clarification efforts carried out with Washington, there is therefore no question, on the Parisian side, of having the same approach with the United Kingdom, which sees its participation as a victory for its “Global Britain” project. to the Aukus alliance. If Jean-Yves Le Drian met his American counterpart Antony Blinken in New York on Thursday 23 September, in the wake of the Macron-Biden phone call, he did not want to see his new British colleague face to face, Liz Truss, who however requested it, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. They just shook hands on Wednesday, during a meeting of the member countries of the Security Council. Without a photographer.

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“The conditions are not met”

“The conditions are just not right to start a calm dialogue with the British”, said a diplomatic source, exasperated by the London game. Trying to come out of the crisis from the top by relaunching discussions around a possible defense and security agreement between the European Union and London, discussions so far refused by the Johnson government? “It’s not really the spirit of the moment”, underlines a French source.

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