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'Something is broken' in the US-EU alliance: EU commissioner

French President Emmanuel Macron (left) and US President Joe Biden at the NATO headquarters in Brussels earlier this year. (Photo by Getty Images)

Tensions between European leaders and the United States have increased after President Joe Biden “stabbed in the back” of France and joined a multibillion nuclear submarine deal with Australia, with one EU official saying "something is broken" in the transatlantic alliance.

Thierry Breton, the EU commissioner for internal markets, said in an interview with CNN on Monday that "something is broken between our relations in Europe and the US."

He warned there was a "growing feeling" in Europe over the past few weeks and there had been a "lack of trust and confidence between allies."

 "I'm here again to make sure that we rebuild this partnership, even if in some areas we may need to pause and reset it," he added.

US President Joe Biden has requested for talks with French President Emmanuel Macron in an attempt to decrease mutual tensions,

However, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Tuesday he would not speak with Macron during the UN this week.

"That is not an opportunity for that at this time. I'm sure that opportunity will come in time. But right now, I understand the disappointment," Morrison said.

France has accused Biden of stabbing it in the back and acting like his predecessor Donald Trump after the Biden administration pushed Paris aside and signed the lucrative nuclear deal with Australia for submarines.

Last week, the United States, Britain and Australia established a security partnership for the Indo-Pacific to protect their what they called shared interests and help Australia acquire American nuclear-powered submarines and scrap the $40 billion French-designed submarine deal.

Under the new partnership, known as AUKUS, the three countries have agreed to enhance the development of joint capabilities and technology sharing and foster deeper integration of security and defense-related science, technology, industrial bases and supply chains.

"This brutal, unilateral and unpredictable decision reminds me a lot of what Mr Trump used to do," Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told franceinfo radio. "I am angry and bitter. This isn't done between allies."

Australia had selected French shipbuilder Naval Group in 2016 to build a new submarine fleet worth $40 billion to replace its more than twenty-year-old Collins submarines.

Meanwhile, China also reacted to the new so-called security alliance announced by the United States, Britain and Australia aimed at addressing security concerns in the Indo-Pacific region, calling on the three countries to shake off their “Cold War” mentality.

Liu Pengyu, the spokesman for China's embassy in Washington, made the comments on Thursday, following the formation of the security pact a day earlier amid China's growing influence over the strategically vital region.

Countries "should not build exclusionary blocs targeting or harming the interests of third parties. In particular, they should shake off their Cold-War mentality and ideological prejudice," Liu said.


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