EU, US reaffirm ‘strong alliance’ after tension over AUKUS pact

Top EU, US diplomats discuss relations, foreign policy challenges on margins of UN General Assembly.

EU, US reaffirm ‘strong alliance’ after tension over AUKUS pact

The EU foreign policy chief held a talk on Wednesday with the US secretary of state on the future of transatlantic relations and the new security pact between the US, UK, and Australia.

Josep Borrell and Antony Blinken met on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York to discuss affairs of the transatlantic agenda and recent international developments, Borrell’s office said in a statement.

The top diplomats welcomed the recent announcement by US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron, saying that it helps “clarify the situation” over a multibillion submarine deal between France and Australia that the latter canceled shortly after announcing a new security pact between the US, UK, and Australia.

According to the statement, Borrell and Blinken “reaffirmed the strong alliance between the United States and the EU” and their intention to cooperate on global challenges, including stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

They underlined the relevance of EU defense efforts, which will also contribute to a stronger NATO, while Borrell stressed that the bloc should launch a comprehensive and structured dialogue on security and defense.

They also discussed the situation in Afghanistan, the Iran nuclear deal, and Belgrade-Pristina dialogue.

Last week, Australia canceled a $66-billion submarine deal with France after the new Indo-Pacific security deal was unveiled by Biden, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Australian Prime Mİnister Scott Morrison.

Canberra said it would build nuclear-powered submarines with its partners from the AUKUS alliance instead of purchasing them from Paris.

France described the deal as a “stab in the back” and recalled its ambassadors from Canberra and Washington for consultations.

Biden and Macron issued a reconciliatory statement on Wednesday, promising open consultations between partners.