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Emmanuel Macron and Joe Biden walk together at the G7 summit in June 2021. Photo: Ludovic Marin/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden will speak with French President Emmanuel Macron “in the next few days” amid the ongoing diplomatic row surrounding a scrapped submarine order, French government spokesman Gabriel Attal told French TV station BFMTV.

The latest: "President Biden very much values our alliance with France, and looks forward to speaking with President Macron and finding a way forward," a White House official told Axios.

Why it matters: Attal characterized the diplomatic crisis as "strategic" rather than commercial and noted that the phone call comes at Biden's request.

The big picture: Senior French officials have accused the United States of a "stab in the back," following the announcement of a trilateral security pact between the U.S., U.K. and Australia to help Australia acquire nuclear submarines.

  • French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian described it as a "crisis" that could threaten existing Western alliances.
  • On Friday, France took the extraordinary step of recalling its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia.

What they're saying: “What’s at stake in this case, in this crisis, is a strategic issue before being a commercial one,” Attal said.

  • "The issue at stake here is the balance of power in the Indo-Pacific region, where part of our future and our relations with China are at stake. France is a country in the Indo-Pacific zone," Attal said, citing France's territories, French Polynesia and New Caledonia.
  • "It is also an issue for Europe, in a context of tensions with China and the United States. We have to assert a strategic autonomy in the area and that is what it is going to be about," he said.
  • "That is what we are going to talk about. That is what we will work on and move forward in the weeks and months to come."

Go deeper

Oct 7, 2021 - World

Biden's relations with China are stuck on the starting line

Xi, Biden and John Kerry (L-R) in 2015. Photo: Paul J. Richards/AFP via Getty

Both the U.S. and China described Wednesday's meeting in Zurich as “constructive” and “candid” — an improvement from other recent encounters in which, U.S. officials say, Chinese officials were either chiding their U.S. interlocutors or sticking stubbornly to prepared talking points.

Yes, but: National security adviser Jake Sullivan and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi spent much of their six-hour meeting talking not about the key issues in the relationship, but about how the U.S. and China can engage going forward without snubs, insults and the risk of dangerous misunderstandings. Nine months into Biden’s term, the relationship hasn’t really left the starting line.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
8 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Key clean power provision likely won't survive in Dems' spending bill

A construction worker walks along a dirt road at the Avangrid Renewables La Joya wind farm in Encino, New Mexico, on Aug. 5, 2020. Photo: Cate Dingley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A pillar of Democrats' plans to speed deployment of zero-carbon electricity is likely to be cut from major spending and tax legislation they are struggling to move on a party-line vote, per multiple reports and a Capitol Hill aide.

Driving the news: The New York Times, citing anonymous congressional aides and lobbyists, reports that West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has told the White House he "strongly opposes" the Clean Electricity Performance Program.

Updated 10 hours ago - World

Fatal stabbing of British MP David Amess declared a terrorist incident

Police outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on Oct. 15. Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images

Authorities have declared the death of David Amess a terrorist incident, hours after the Conservative Party lawmaker in the U.K. was fatally stabbed while meeting with local constituents in a church in eastern England on Friday.

The big picture: The Metropolitan Police has found "a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism."