France obtains symbolic support from Europeans

The meeting of European Union (EU) foreign ministers was initially planned to draw lessons from the Afghan fiasco. Jean-Yves Le Drian took the opportunity, Monday, September 20, in New York, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UN), to return to the current quarrel with the United States, after the announcement of the The Aukus strategic alliance between Washington, London and Canberra, and its corollary, the cancellation of the sale of French technology submarines to Australia for the benefit of American nuclear-powered ships. Paris has tried to gain the widest possible support from the Twenty-Seven, while its European partners have been rather discreet in recent days after the affront inflicted by the Biden administration.

Read also: How the United States left France in the dark

“We express our clear solidarity with France, summed up Josep Borrell, the EU’s High Representative for External Relations, after the meeting. It is not a bilateral affair but it affects the EU as a whole. “ Something to satisfy Paris, even if this support is above all symbolic, because devoid of any concrete gesture, and very far, in form, from the inflammatory tone used by Mr. Le Drian to denounce “Duplicity and deceit” at the origin of the Aukus alliance.

Since Joe Biden’s announcement on September 15, France had so far been the only one to protest publicly against the treatment inflicted on it. If the President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, hospitalized with pneumonia, remained silent, his two counterparts in the Commission – Ursula von der Leyen – and in the Council – Charles Michel – finally spoke on Monday, September 20, also from New York .

Diplomatic showdown

In an interview given to the CNN channel, the former minister of Angela Merkel, who had discussed the subject with Emmanuel Macron on Friday, remained cautious. “One of our member states has been treated in an unacceptable way. We want to know what happened and why ” before “Return to business as usual », she said. The former Belgian prime minister, who also spoke with the French president on Sunday, was, for his part, a little more offensive: during an exchange with journalists in New York on Monday, he mentioned “A lack of loyalty and transparency” from the United States. “We will have to have a frank explanation” with Washington, he continued.

You have 61.77% of this article to read. The rest is for subscribers only.