WASHINGTON, September 18. /TASS/. The US government understands France’s decision to recall its ambassador from Washington for consultations, National Security Council (NSC) Spokesperson Emily Horne said in a statement.
"We have been in close touch with our French partners on their decision to recall Ambassador [Philippe] Etienne to Paris for consultations. We understand their position and will continue to be engaged in the coming days to resolve our differences, as we have done at other points over the course of our long alliance," the statement says.
The United States views France as "our oldest ally and one of our strongest partners," she said.
"We share a long history of shared democratic values and a commitment to working together to address global challenges," Horne added.
US hopes for contacts with Paris
In a statement sent in response to a request from TASS, US Department of State Spokesperson Ned Price called France "a vital partner," expressing hope that the situation will be discussed with high-level French officials on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly next week.
"We have been in close contact with our French allies. We understand their position, and we are aware of their plans to recall Ambassador Etienne to Paris for consultations," he said. "France is a vital partner and our oldest ally, and we place the highest value on our relationship. The Transatlantic Alliance has fostered security, stability, and prosperity around the world for more than seven decades, and our commitment to those bonds and our work together is unwavering."
"We hope to continue our discussion on this issue at the senior level in coming days, including at UNGA next week, in line with our close bilateral partnership and commitment to cooperation on a range of issues, including the Indo-Pacific," the spokesperson added.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a statement on Friday his country was immediately recalling for consultations its ambassadors from the United States and Australia over announcements made by the two countries on September 15 - the day when they announced creating a security partnership with the United Kingdom, and Canberra cancelled a submarine contract with Paris.
Commenting on the decision, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne told The Australian that she understands France’s stance but hopes for cooperation to continue.
On September 15, Australia, the UK and the US announced the establishment of the AUKUS trilateral partnership on security in Indian and Pacific oceans. Under the agreement, Australia plans to build at least eight nuclear-powered submarines that will be commissioned in 2036, as well as equip its armed forces with US-made cruise missiles. This forced Canberra to void its major military contract with France.