The White House said Monday President Joe Biden will hold a call with French President Emmanuel Macron in the coming days to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to one of it’s “oldest and closest partners” amid a diplomatic crisis stemming from a nuclear submarine deal.
Watch Psaki’s remarks in the player above.
France is reeling after being humiliated by a major Pacific defense pact orchestrated by the U.S., Australia and Britain involving a submarine deal that sank a rival French submarine contract.
France recalled its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia over the deal, and its anger isn’t subsiding.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that Biden’s call with Macron will be broader in focus and “more about reaffirming our commitment, the United States’ commitment to our alliance, to our partnership, and to working together on a range of issues.”
She said the U.S. had no plans to abandon the submarine deal.
The press secretary was also asked about comments made by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during an interview with the Associated Press during which he warned of a potential new Cold War between the U.S. and China and implored the two nations to repair their “completely dysfunctional” relationship.
Psaki said the White House wouldn’t agree with that characterization, insisting the “relationship with China is one not of conflict, but of competition.”
She said Biden intended to discuss the areas of mutual agreement and goals in a meeting later Monday with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting.
Psaki also downplayed White House concern over the troubled Chinese real estate company Evergrande, saying it’s “a company based in China whose activities are overwhelmingly centered in China.”
“That being said, we always are monitoring global markets… including the assessment of any risk to the U.S. economy and stand prepared to respond appropriately if needed,” Psaki added.