Top US diplomat to visit France

(VOVWORLD) - Top US diplomat Antony Blinken will visit Paris next week as part of Washington’s efforts to patch up relations with France after it was excluded from a new strategic pact and lost a submarine deal with Australia.

The Biden administration is trying to defuse France’s wrath after the US, UK and Australia — known as Aukus — last month announced a new deal for nuclear submarines, prompting President Emmanuel Macron to recall his country’s ambassadors to Washington and Canberra last month.

Karen Donfried, the US state department’s newly appointed assistant secretary for European and Eurasian affairs, said next week’s meetings in Paris were “part of their commitment toward a process of in-depth consultation going forward”.

French officials insist they were outraged not only by the loss of the deal to provide submarines to Australia, but by the way France was left in the dark on discussions about the new pact. The deal damaged trust among NATO allies, said the officials.