Blinken is told France ‘expected better’ in testy TV appearance as he works to repair US-France rift in Paris


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A senior State Department official described Blinken’s official encounters as “very productive” and forward-looking, but both the US and the French agreed that work remains to mend the relationship rocked by the Biden administration’s new defense partnership with the UK and Australia.

Bitterness about that deal and the Biden administration’s treatment of the French punctuated an appearance Blinken made on France 2 TV, where the interviewer raised France’s anger, incomprehension and sense of betrayal — and then got personal.

“We expected better, especially with the change of administration, and especially with you,” journalist Anne-Sophie Lapix told Blinken. “You speak French. You are a Francophile. We expected a better dialogue.”

Blinken, who spoke French throughout the interview, said he understood the sense of betrayal and that Americans realize they “could have — we should have — done better, in terms of communication.” And he admitted that, “above all, we sometimes tend to take for granted a relationship as important and deep as the one between France and the United States.”

The senior State Department official acknowledged that when it comes to repairing the relationship, this trip is not “the end of the process by any means, we’re still in the early stages of doing that.” The official described Blinken’s Tuesday meetings with French officials as “serious” in tone.

“There was not much re-litigation” of the events leading up to the announcement of the security agreement between the US, UK and Australia that enraged the French and cost it billions in a defense contract it had expected to sell to Australia, the official said. The discussions focused on “using this as an opportunity” to develop and implement joint efforts on issues accords the board.

Getting ready for the Presidents’ meeting

Blinken is in Paris through Wednesday for meetings of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, but the most intense US diplomatic energy is focused on…



Source : cnn


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