Key EU leaders bluntly accused US President Joe Biden of disloyalty to the transatlantic alliance, and asked him to explain why he had misled France and other European partners into forging a new strategic link with the United Kingdom and Australia in the Indo-Pacific, writes POLITICO.
The extraordinary reprimand of the new American president, whose election was celebrated across Europe as an opportunity to rejuvenate ties after Donald J. Trump’s four years of belligerence and combativeness, gave rise to the prospect of ‘a serious and prolonged rift between the Western powers.
“With Joe Biden’s new administration, America is back,” European Council President Charles Michel told reporters in New York as world leaders gathered for the General Assembly’s high-level segment United Nations. “What does it mean America is back? Is America back in America or elsewhere? We do not know.
Failing to consult with EU countries on the new Indo-Pacific strategy, under which Australia canceled a successful contract to buy French submarines, Michel said Biden rejected a deal struck by the leaders after many hours of talks at the G7 summit in Britain in June to remain united in the face of authoritarian regimes, especially Chinese.
“The basic principles of an alliance are loyalty and transparency,” said Michel, adding: “We observe a clear lack of transparency and loyalty.”
Michel said the 27 EU heads of state and government will discuss the split with the United States at a dinner on October 5 in Slovenia, ahead of a summit focused on the Western Balkans.