Sun, 17 Oct 2021

Paris [France], September 23 (ANI/Sputnik): French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, during a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday, discussed the process of consultations to restore confidence between the countries, the French Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

On Wednesday, French President Emmanuel Macron and US President Joe Biden discussed by phone the termination of the submarine contract and agreed to launch consultations aimed at creating conditions for confidence, and to meet in Europe in late October. Macron also decided that the French ambassador, previously recalled for consultations in Paris, would return to Washington next week.

"The minister [Le Drian] discussed with his US counterpart the conditions and main themes of the process of in-depth consultations between the two countries aimed at restoring confidence," the statement says.

Le Drian agreed to maintain close contact with Blinken to overcome the crisis, it says.

"He [Le Drian] recalled that the first step was taken during a telephone conversation between the two presidents, but noted that overcoming the crisis between our two countries would take time and action," the ministry added.

In mid-September, Australia partnered with the United Kingdom and the United States on the AUKUS defence and security alliance and announced its withdrawal from the submarine agreement with France's Naval Group. The 56 billion euro agreement, dubbed the "contract of the century," provided for the production of 12 Barracuda-class attack submarines. (ANI/Sputnik)

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