New York According to US State Department staff, the meeting between the United States, France, Great Britain and Germany on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly has been cancelled. As the insider announced at a briefing with reporters in New York on Tuesday (local time), the meeting originally scheduled for Wednesday could not take place due to scheduling reasons. It did not comment on whether the cancellation could be related to current diplomatic tensions between France and the US. The meeting was one of three planned gatherings at which, among others, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian will meet for the first time since Washington and Paris plunged into a diplomatic crisis last week.
Last Thursday, Australia, Great Britain and the USA announced the Indo-Pacific Security Agreement. Among other things, the agreement provides for Australia to build nuclear-powered submarines using technology from the two partners. This meant that the delivery of conventional submarines worth $40 billion agreed with French shipping company Naval in 2016 became obsolete.
The European Union has already postponed preparations for trade and technology talks with the US in protest against the submarine trade. EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen described the deal as “unacceptable”. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas sided with France and warned of long difficulties in transatlantic relations.
more: Submarine dispute turns into a transatlantic crisis
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