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US in contact with France over Amb. recall - WH

WASHINGTON, Sept 18 (KUNA) -- The White House said Friday evening that the US has been in contact with France over its decision to recall its Ambassador to the US Philippe Etienne for "consultations".
"We have been in close touch with our French partners on their decision to recall Ambassador Etienne to Paris for consultations," National Security Council (NSC) Spokesperson Emily Horne said in a statement.
She added "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." "France is our oldest ally and one of our strongest partners and we share a long history of shared democratic values and a commitment to working together to address global challenges," she affirmed.
Furthermore, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said in a separate statement "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 reiterated "France is a vital partner and our oldest ally and we place the highest value on our relationship." He added that "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 (UN General Assembly) next week, in line with our close bilateral partnership and commitment to cooperation on a range of issues, including the Indo-Pacific," he remarked.
On Friday, France recalled its ambassadors to the US and Australia due to "unacceptable behavior" after the former opted to purchase nuclear-powered submarines from Washington instead of Paris, annulling a contract worth billions. (end) si.mt