Secy. of State Blinken: France is still a vital partner

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne, left, accompanied by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, second from right, and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, right, speaks at a news conference at the State Department in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne, left, accompanied by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, second from right, and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, right, speaks at a news conference at the State Department in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)

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UPDATED 9:24 AM PT – Friday, September 17, 2021

The Biden administration has attempted to mend their strained relation with France after announcing a new partnership with the U.S. and Australia. On Thursday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said despite France’s exclusion from the strategic Aukus alliance, the country remains an important ally to the U.S.

The joint agreement will help Australia acquire submarines for its Navy. However, the country had a previous building agreement with France. The development of the recent trilateral partnership has French officials outraged. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, however, called it a stab in the back and said allies don’t do this to each other

Despite their concerns, Blinken claimed the relationship between the U.S. and France has been an important aspect to American national security for “a long long time.”

“I want to emphasize again, we cooperate incredibly closely with France on many shared priorities in the Indo-Pacific, but also beyond around the world,” he stated. “We’re going to continue to do so. We place fundamental value on that relationship.”

Blinken added, the U.S. remains in close communication with France as the two work collaboratively for their mutual security. In the wake of the disapproval of French leaders, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Biden claimed the country was still a key partner in the Indo-Pacific region.

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