Is Biden trying to avoid another sub snub? President to announce major nuclear deal with the UK and Australia next week after blindsiding Macron with multi-billion dollar defense pact
- Biden will host British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in San Diego on Monday
- Leaders will reveal details of their submarine deal under Aukus pact
- Original deal outraged the French
President Joe Biden will host British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in San Diego on Monday to talk about the procurement of nuclear-powered submarines under a pact between the three nations.
Australia is expected to obtain eight nuclear-powered submarines as part of a regional security pact between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States known as Aukus.
British and Australian officials have confirmed the meeting. The original deal was aimed at countering China’s growing assertiveness in the Pacific – and it angered the French who lost a submarine deal they had been making with Australia.
A Seawolf-class nuclear attack sub coming into San Diego, home of the Southern Pacific fleet
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: ‘I can say the Prime Minister will be in the US on Monday for discussions on Aukus with President Biden and the Australian Prime Minister Albanese.
‘On Monday the Government will also publish the update to the integrated review of security, defence, development and foreign policy.’
And Albanese said he will meet with Biden in the U.S. next week.
‘We’ll have further announcements about details soon about the arrangements that will be taking place,’ he told reporters in Perth.
The trilateral summit could involve a visit to a submarine, Reuters reported. San Diego is home to the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
It remains unclear whether the deal involves a U.S. or a British-designed submarine, or a combination of both, or when the vessels will become operational.
The three sides have spent the last 18 months working out how to provide Australia with a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines given restrictions on technology transfers and classified nuclear processes.
President Joe Biden will host British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in San Diego to talk nuclear submarines
The Aukus deal angered France, which lost a submarine deal with Australia as a result – President Joe Biden hosted French President Emanual Macron at the White House for a state dinner in December to mend relations
When the original Aukus deal was announced in 2021, France was enraged when Australia canceled a $66 billion contract for a French-built fleet of conventionally powered submarines and, instead, went for nuclear-powered versions in a deal secretly brokered with the U.S. and Britain.
French President Emmanuel Macron pulled his ambassador from Washington in response. He later met with Biden in Italy during a G20 so the two could make amends.
Biden called Macron on Tuesday but a White House readout of the call didn’t say if the Aukus deal came up.
The two leaders did discuss the growing Chinese influence in the South Pacific, an issue that also worries Australia.
And Biden hosted Macron for a state dinner in December, helping cement and mend American-Franco relations.
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