“It’s not anger. We’re not happy, but it’s the practical way to cope,” the official said. “In context, we took some things from the program, kept some things so that we kept the celebrations but don’t want people to have to be together.”
Other parts of the celebration will continue, including a wreath laying in Annapolis on Saturday and a visit by a French destroyer in Baltimore harbor on Monday.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken sought Thursday to minimize the divide between the United States and France, stressing their importance as a “vital partner” in the Indo-Pacific and around the world.
“I want to stress that there is no regional division separating the interests of our partners in the Atlantic and the Pacific,” he told the State Department on Thursday.
The senior American diplomat said the United States welcomed “European countries playing an important role in the Indo-Pacific”, adding that “France in particular is an essential partner on this issue and on so many others that go back several generations, and we want to find every opportunity to deepen our transatlantic cooperation in the Indo-Pacific and around the world. “
French officials on Wednesday expressed their anger at the new deal, with French foreign and defense ministers saying in a joint statement that “the decision is contrary to the letter and spirit of the cooperation that prevailed between France and Australia, based on a relationship of trust and on the development of a very high level defense industrial and technological base in Australia. “
“The American choice to exclude a European ally and partner like France from a structuring partnership with Australia, at a time when we are faced with unprecedented challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, whether in terms of our values or in terms of respect for multilateralism. based on the rule of law, shows a lack of coherence that France can only observe and regret “, they declared.