Make amends after dismissing France.
The head of American diplomacy Antony Blinken acknowledged Thursday that it would take "time and action" to seal reconciliation with his French ally after the crisis of Australian submarines.
"We recognize that this will take time and a lot of work, and will result not only in statements, but also in action," the US Secretary of State said at a press conference on the sidelines of the General Assembly annual UN meeting in New York.
Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron pledged Wednesday to deepen their cooperation, Antony Blinken estimated that the two allied countries could "do more" and "do better".
Other than recalling the importance of the French engagement in the Indo-Pacific zone, Blinken did not say more about the actions that Washington could take to repair the wound of the cancellation of the mega-contract for the sale of French submarines. to Australia.
Read also Submarine crisis: what weapons does France sell, and to whom?
“Time” and “actions” is exactly what Jean-Yves Le Drian demanded a few hours earlier in a press release published after a one-on-one with Blinken.
Since the beginning of the week, the French minister has refused this meeting to his American counterpart.
The meeting took place on its grounds, in the premises of the French diplomatic mission to the UN on the 44th floor of One Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza, a building located near the United Nations headquarters.
It lasted about an hour and was held with the utmost discretion, away from microphones and cameras.
A first step
Last Thursday, the day after the unilateral cancellation of the armaments contract between France and Australia for the benefit of American submarines, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs vehemently denounced "a blow in the back" and ruled that the relationship of trust was "betrayed".
He was targeting both Canberra and Washington.
"It is not done between allies," he summarized.
Silent on the crisis, Emmanuel Macron spoke on Wednesday with Joe Biden, at length.
The American president seemed to be doing his mea-culpa by agreeing that “open consultations” would “have made it possible to avoid this situation”.
He conceded that France and the European Union had a role to play in the Indo-Pacific to counter Chinese ambitions, the United States' number one priority.
But more will be needed.
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This call was only a "first step", pointed out Jean-Yves Le Drian.
What happened remains "serious" and requires concrete responses.
This is why the minister avoided meeting the foreign ministers of the two other protagonists of the crisis, the United Kingdom, which in vain called for a meeting with its new minister, and Australia.
And if the French ambassador in Washington, recalled in protest, is due to return to the federal capital next week, Canberra still has no date for the return of the French representative.
As for Naval Group, it will send the invoice to the Australians.