SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 20 October 2021, Wednesday |

Le Drian says restoring confidence with U.S. will require time

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday it would take “time and actions” to restore confidence in relations after a crisis triggered by Australia’s cancellation of a submarine contract with Paris.

France was incensed by Australia’s decision last week to opt instead for a deal with the United States and Britain to purchase nuclear-powered submarines, and it recalled its ambassadors to Washington and Canberra for consultations.

The meeting of Blinken and Le Drian came after U.S. President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron spoke by telephone on Wednesday and agreed to launch in-depth consultations to rebuild trust between the two NATO allies. They also agreed to meet in Europe at the end of October.

Le Drian and Blinken, meeting at the United Nations in New York, discussed “the terms and main issues” to be addressed during these consultations, a French foreign ministry statement said.