‘Friends talk to each other’ Von der Leyen’s bitter attack as EU questions Biden’s loyalty

Joe Biden appears to forget Australian PMs name

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After being excluded from the alliance, which also torpedoed France’s submarine deal with Australia, Ms von der Leyen claimed allies do not act in this way. Indeed, the Commission President claimed relations with the US may not return to normal after France was snubbed. She claimed trust had not just been damaged with France but also the EU as a whole following Aukus.

In an interview, she said: “Disappointment in Europe about the way this was handle friends and allies and partners talk to each other on an issue of common interest.

“This did clearly not happen.”

She also told CNN: “One of our member states has been treated in a way that is not acceptable, so we want to know what happened and why.

“You first of all clarify that, before you keep on going with business as usual.”

EU Council President, Charles Michel also issued a warning to the US over its relationship with the bloc.

Mr Michel insisted Joe Biden must address why he supposedly misled the EU and France.

Although Mr Biden’s election was celebrated, Mr Michel questioned whether the US has returned to the international table.

He told the UN General Assembly: “With the new Joe Biden administration, America is back.

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“What does it mean America is back?

“Is America back in America or somewhere else? We don’t know.”

By joining the Aukus alliance, Australia informed France it would be cancelling a submarine deal worth up to $90billion (£47billion).

In 2016, France was chosen ahead of Germany and Japan to help Australia replace its old submarine class.

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Due to Aukus, Australia will share technology with the UK and US.

This will lead to Australia being provided with a nuclear-power submarine due to the technology shared with the state.

Mr Michel added: “The elementary principles for an alliance are loyalty and transparency.

“We are observing a clear lack of transparency and loyalty.”

Due to the alliance, a trade deal between the EU and Australia now hangs in the balance.

Indeed, Clement Beaune, France’s European affairs secretary claimed the Aukus alliance had now jeopardised the chances of a trade deal.

Mr Beaune said: “Keeping one’s word is the condition of trust between democracies and between allies.

“So it is unthinkable to move forward on trade negotiations as if nothing had happened with a country in which we no longer trust.”

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