AUKUS shows world UK is 'standing on own two feet' says Baker
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It comes amid an ongoing dispute over a new security pact in the Indo-Pacific between Australia, Britain and the USA, known as AUKUS.
The deal’s announcement caused anger in France as it led to the end of the nation’s own deal with Australia, worth £27billion (31.5m euros).
French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian described it as a “stab in the back”, and suggested it amounts to “unacceptable behaviour between allies and partners”.
A meeting of foreign ministers from the US, France, UK and Germany was due to take place during the UN assembly, taking place from September 20 – 24.
Mr Mass said: “There is resentment on the French side, which I can understand well.”
He added: “Some things need to be straightened out there before you can sit down in such a format.”
The meeting however has not been cancelled entirely, but “postponed” until a later date, reports suggest.
The State Department of the United States was not so optimistic in their tone regarding the delay, suggesting it is the result of scheduling issues.
In an attempt to reconcile differences, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken is expected to meet his French counterpart Le Drian later in the week.
The AUKUS deal has created a severe diplomatic rift between the countries involved and France.
France has since stated it will attempt to block an upcoming EU-Australia trade deal, which could set the EU back some £35bn in lost earnings.
Germany are starting to feel the impact of French anger at the deal.
Mr Mass was open and frank in his condemnation of the deal, saying: “What was decided there and the way in which this decision was made is vexing.”
He went on to say “it’s sobering, not only for France,” implying the realities of Britain’s freedom following Brexit is fast becoming a reality for EU member states.
With the French recalling their ambassadors to both Washington and Canberra, the wider EU are mystified at the deal.
They believe reality of the Biden administration is beginning to set in.
Sir Simon Fraser, a former senior member of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office Tweeted: “The Biden foreign policy team, which was seen as reassuringly professional and experienced, now look surprisingly clumsy and tin-eared in its miscommunication with its allies.”
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US state department officials tried to deflect the blame onto the Australians.
“They [the Australians] told us they would take care of the dealing with the French,” an official told the New York Times.
From the British perspective, the deal is largely seen as a triumph, in spite of the French labelling the British as a junior partner in the deal.
With the French and the rest of the European Union still seething at the pact, there is no doubt that the next few days in New York will see more tension arise until a diplomatic resolution is proposed, and accepted by all.
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