France's Macron to speak to Biden about submarine deal


French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to speak with President Biden in the next few days about the submarine deal the U.S. and U.K. made with Australia in an apparent snub to France.

Gabriel Attal, a French government spokesperson, said on Sunday that Macron would seek "clarification" from Biden regarding the cancellation of France's submarine deal with Australia, according to Reuters.

"President Biden asked to speak to the President of the Republic and there will be a telephone discussion in the next few days between President Macron and President Biden," Attal said.

The cancelled deal has resulted in the French government cancelling events celebrating French-American relations and recalling its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia.

According to White House press secretary Jen Psaki, Australia decided to abandon the 2016 deal it had struck with France for diesel-electric submarines and instead seek to acquire nuclear-powered submarines.

Australia will acquire at least eight nuclear submarines in the trilateral deal between Canberra, the U.K and the U.S.

“This brutal, unilateral and unpredictable decision reminds me a lot of what Mr. Trump used to do," French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said of the deal. "I am angry and bitter. This isn't done between allies.”

On Sunday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison stood by his country's decision on acquiring new submarines, Reuters noted.

"I don't regret the decision to put Australia's national interest first," Morrison said. "This is an issue that had been raised by me directly some months ago and we continued to talk those issues through, including by defense ministers and others."

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