On Thursday, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian railed against the Biden administration for keeping his country out of a national security pact with the United Kingdom and Australia. One day later, France has taken further action as a result of the snub.
According to the New York Post, the agreement is known as the AUKUS initiative and will provide nuclear submarines to Australia. The main objective is to “strengthen cooperation as China emerges as a strategic threat.”
Despite being the United States’ oldest ally, France was mysteriously left out of the agreement. Le Drian was not pleased about that decision, and he made his feelings known.
“This brutal, unilateral and unpredictable decision reminds me a lot of what Mr. Trump used to do,” he said. “I am angry and bitter. This isn’t done between allies.”
While Le Drian’s stab at Trump was unnecessary, it is not that surprising coming from a former member of the Socialist Party in France.
For as much as he dislikes Trump, his inclusion of Biden in the same category speaks volumes.
“The American choice to exclude a European ally and partner such as France from a structuring partnership with Australia, at a time when we are facing unprecedented challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, whether in terms of our values or in terms of respect for multilateralism based on the rule of law, shows a lack of coherence that France can only note and regret,” the embassy said in a statement.
Now Le Drian has recalled the French ambassador to Washington as well as the one to Canberra, Australia, as a direct response to the AUKUS initiative, The Wall Street Journal reported.
He said the decision to call the ambassadors back home was “justified by the exceptional gravity” of the new agreement France was left out of.
The Wall Street Journal also reported that the new deal would cost France billions of dollars. This is because Australia said it would cancel a multibillion-dollar contract with France in which it would have purchased submarines from the European nation.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was asked about that decision Thursday, but he chose to avoid the issue and read clearly scripted remarks.
“I’ll leave it to our Australian partners to describe why they sought this new technology,” he said.
“But the president said and I want to emphasize again, we cooperate incredibly closely with France on many shared priorities in the Indo-Pacific but also beyond and around the world [and] we’re going to continue to do so. We place fundamental value on that relationship, on that partnership.”
Blinken also called France a “vital partner” in the quest to address Chinese threats, but the Biden administration’s actions suggest otherwise. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki attempted to quell concerns in her Thursday news conference, as well.
“We value our relationship and our partnership with France on a variety of issues facing the global community … and that has been a long-standing partnership for many, many years,” she said.
“We cooperate closely with France, as the president said yesterday,” she continued. “We have a range of shared priorities in the Indo-Pacific, and that will certainly continue.”
The Biden administration does not seem to realize that touting our relationship with France does not excuse it from snubbing our allies in the AUKUS deal. In fact, our “close cooperation” with France is exactly what makes its exclusion from the deal so disrespectful.
In just the last month, Biden has negotiated with the Taliban and turned his back on our oldest ally in France. Each new disaster shows just how incapable he is of managing the country’s foreign policy.