Ex-French ambassador says Biden is 'a big disappointment all over Europe'

A former French ambassador to the U.S. has criticized President BidenJoe BidenHouse passes 8B defense policy bill House approves bill to ease passage of debt limit hike Senate rejects attempt to block Biden's Saudi arms sale MORE amid recent controversy between the two countries, saying Biden has disappointed much of Europe.

The comments come after France erupted in anger over the U.S. making a deal with Australia to help them secure nuclear-powered submarines, undermining a deal France and Australia had been working on.

Gérard Araud, the French ambassador from 2014 to 2019 during the Obama and Trump administrations, commented to The New Republic about relations between the U.S. and France.

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“You know, Obama didn’t care about Europe. Trump was hostile to Europe. And here you have Biden. And Biden, to be frank so far, is a big disappointment all over Europe,” Araud said. 

When asked to clarify, Araud stated he and other European ambassadors have discussed the “disappointment” they feel that Biden has “no European policy.”

“When Biden went to Europe, he was patting the shoulders of everybody and the back of everybody, the way he’s very good at doing it. But there was no outcome,” Araud said. 

“You know, not only climate change, but we have a lot of issues: cryptocurrency, cybersecurity, the taxation of high-tech companies. There are a lot of issues, and we should work together. And frankly there has been no reaction from the U.S. administration,” he added.

Araud asserted that the Biden administration has been too focused on China to create relationships with Europe. 

Biden has planned to hold a call with French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronBiden holds call with European leaders to talk Russia Macron becomes first major Western leader to go to Saudi Arabia since Khashoggi killing Justice for Josephine Baker means restoring her US nationality MORE to smooth over the relationship after France pulled its ambassador from the country due to the deal the U.S. made with Australia. 

“The president wants to communicate his desire to work closely with France in the Indo-Pacific and globally and to talk about specific practical measures that we can undertake together,” a Biden administration official said on Monday.

“We understand the French position. We don’t share their view in terms of how this all developed but we understand their position and we will continue to be engaged in the coming days on this and we look forward to the phone call with President Biden and President Macron once its time is fixed on the books,” the official added.