Biden, France's Macron to speak amidst crisis over submarines

By ELAINE GANLEY Associated Press

PARIS (AP) — France's government spokesman says President Emmanuel Macron will speak in the coming days with President Joe Biden in their first contact since a major crisis erupted between France and the United States over a submarine deal with Australia.

The French spokesman said Sunday that the phone call is at the request of Biden.

What the French now call a "grave crisis" erupted over the surprise end to a 2016 contract for France to build 12 conventional diesel-electric submarines for Australia.

But Australia belatedly signed on with United States and Britain for nuclear-powered submarines.

France recalled its ambassadors to the two countries.

But the French government insists the problem is firstly about strategic issues in the Indo-Pacific region where China is raising its influence.

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