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  19 Sep 2021, 16:46
Update : 19 Sep 2021, 16:54

Macron, Biden to talk in 'coming days' about subs spat

  PARIS, Sept 19, 2021 (BSS/AFP) - US President Joe Biden and French 
President Emmanuel Macron will talk on the phone in the coming days amid high 
tension over a submarines contract, a French government spokesman said 
Sunday.

   The announcement comes a day after France recalled its ambassadors to 
Washington and Canberra, unhappy over secret US-Australia negotiations that 
led to the cancellation of a multi-billion Australian order for French 
submarines.

   "There will be an exchange on the phone in the coming days," spokesman 
Gabriel Attal told the BFM news channel, adding that the request for the 
converation had come from Biden.

   Macron will ask the US president for "clarification" after the 
announcement of a US-Australian-British defence pact as part of which 
Canberra is to buy American nuclear-powered submarines, cancelling a huge 
contract for diesel-electric French vessels.

   "We want explanations," Attal said, adding that the US had to answer for 
"what looks a lot like a major breach of trust".

   Earlier Sunday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison rejected France's 
accusations that Canberra lied about its plans to cancel the contract, saying 
he had raised concerns over the deal "some months ago".
 

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