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Submarine dispute: Macron seeks 'clarification' in telephonic conversation with Biden

US President Joe Biden and French counterpart Emmanuel Macron are to speak later on Wednesday by telephone for the first time since a row erupted over the sale of submarines to Australia, the French government spokesman said. 

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Submarine dispute: Macron seeks 'clarification' in telephonic conversation with Biden
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France recalled its ambassadors from the US and Australia last week after the US and Britain signed a nuclear-powered submarines deal with Australia, causing Canberra to scrap a previous $66 billion French-designed submarine deal.

Paris was outraged that Australia negotiated with Washington and London in secret behind its back, which French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has denounced as "treachery" and a "stab in the back".

The call between Macron and Biden would be an opportunity to "clarify both the way in which this announcement was made and the way for an American re-engagement in its relationship with an ally", spokesman Gabriel Attal said after a French cabinet meeting.

French officials were notified about the loss of the contract just hours before Biden unveiled the new so-called AUKUS security and defence partnership between the three English-speaking countries. 

Macron is expecting "clarification about the American decision to keep a European ally outside of fundamental talks about cooperation in the Indo-Pacific", Attal added, making clear that French anger remains unabated. 

"We expect our allies to acknowledge that the exchanges and consultations that should have taken place did not, and that this poses a question about confidence, which all of us need to draw conclusions about now."

The timing of the call between Biden and Macron, a week since the row began, was also intended to send a further message of French discontent.

The US administration had let it be known on Sunday that the 78-year-old president was seeking a conversation, but that Macron was in no hurry to pick up the phone.

'A constant feature of French foreign policy'

The row has plunged ties into what some analysts view as the most acute crisis since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, which Paris opposed.

After four years of tumultuous relations with former president Donald Trump, the spat has dashed hopes of a complete reset of Franco-US ties under the Biden administration, which took office in January.

Macron, 43, and Biden met for the first time in person in June at a summit of G7 countries in Cornwall, southwest England, where they were seen smiling broadly together.

Gilles Gressani, president of the Groupe d'Etudes Geopolitiques thinktank, said this week that showdowns with the US are "a constant feature of French foreign policy".

But he added that "the intensity of (France's) reaction is striking". 

A 'wake up call'

France's European allies meanwhile have rallied around Paris, but some warned the dispute should not torpedo trade talks.

German Europe Minister Michael Roth on Tuesday said France's diplomatic crisis with the US was a "wake-up call for all of us" on the importance of uniting an often divided EU on foreign and security policy.

The show of solidarity from Germany and the EU's top officials was welcomed by France, which said the breakdown of trust with Washington strengthened the case for Europe to set its own strategic course.

France's minister for European affairs Clément Beaune called the row "a European issue" not simply a French one, as he arrived at ministerial talks in Brussels, with the chaotic US pullout from Afghanistan in August also a source of irritation among EU members.

"I don't think France is overreacting and I don't think France should overreact. But when a situation ... is serious, I think it's also our responsibility to state it very clearly," he said.

EU Council chief Charles Michel said he had a "frank, direct and lively exchange on AUKUS" with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.  

EU internal market commissioner, Thierry Breton, warned there was a growing feeling "that something is broken" in Europe's ties with Washington. 

"So it is probably time to pause and reset our EU-US relationship," he said in a speech in Washington. 

SOURCE: AFP 

 

Faisal Ali Ghumman

Faisal Ali Ghumman is a senior editor at GNN, known for writing top quality content which garner very high readerships and has been covering every field of journalism, including politics, media, sports and scholarly articles. Faisal Ali Ghumman is nothing less than a Veteran Editor and has been writing for GNN for the past 4 months.

Pakistan

Coronavirus: Pakistan records lowest daily death toll of fourth wave

According to National Command and Operations Center (NCOC), around 689 cases of coronavirus were reported while 18 people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 28,152.

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Coronavirus: Pakistan records lowest daily death toll of fourth wave

Islamabad: Amid a steady decline in Covid-19 infections, Pakistan's coronavirus positivity ratio further fell to 1.62% with 689 new cases. 

According to National Command and Operations Center (NCOC), around 689 cases of coronavirus were reported while 18 people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 28,152.

Pakistan is presently experiencing the fourth wave of coronavirus which is said to be deadlier and more contagious than the previous three COVID waves.

The total number of cases has reached 1,259,648.

As many as 1,189,742 patients have recovered from the disease with 2,280 critical cases.

Punjab

The number of patients swelled to 436,442 in the province with 12,792 causalities.

Sindh

The number of infections has surged to 463,167 in the province, while the death toll has reached 7,502.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The confirmed cases have surged to 176,048 in the province with 5,650 casualties.

Balochistan

There are 33,083 confirmed cases while 350 patients have died from the infection so far.

AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan

There are 34,354 coronavirus cases in the AJK while the death toll has reached 739. On the other hand, there are 10,353 cases in GB with 186 coronavirus deaths.

Islamabad

There are 106,201 cases in the capital city while 933 people have lost their lives.   

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Pakistan

Nation celebrates Eid Milad-un-Nabi (PBUH) with religious, traditional zeal

Back in history, the day was first celebrated as an official festival in Egypt, the celebrations of Eid-e-Milad became more popular during the 11th century.

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Nation celebrates Eid Milad-un-Nabi (PBUH) with religious, traditional zeal

The whole nation is celebrating Eid Milad-un-Nabi (PBUH) today (Tuesday) with traditional zeal and fervor and renewing the pledge to transform their lives in line with the Islamic principles and disseminate teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad Sallallah-o-Alaihe Wa Aalehe Wassallum.

The day dawned with a 31 and 21 gun salute in the federal and provincial capitals, respectively, following a night of Mahafil-e-Naat and conferences across the country.

Special prayers offered in mosques for upholding and flourishing of Islam and religious teachings, unity, solidarity, progress, and welfare of the Muslim Ummah.

To mark the annual event, state and religious organisations, Milad committees and individuals have planned a number of activities including processions, seminars, conferences and discussion programmes.

Moreover, streets and roads, as well as bazaars, shopping centres, government and private buildings have been beautifully decorated and illuminated with lights, colours and banners bearing writings about the celebration of Eid Milad-un-Nabi (SAW).

In addition, people wear green ribbons or green items of clothing, carry green flags or banners on this day. The green colour is a symbol of Islam and paradise. People also conduct activities like marches, parades, and night long prayers meetings.

Furthermore, communal meals are also offered in mosques and other community buildings.

A national Rehmatul-lil-Aalameen [Sallallah-o-Alaihe Wa Aalehe Wassallum Khatam-un-Nabiyeen] conference is being held in Islamabad today.

Several news and Current Affairs Channel will broadcast a day-long Marathon transmission on this occasion.

Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi is celebrated on the occasion of the birthday of the Prophet of Islam, Hazrat Mohammad (PBUH).

It is also known as Nabi Day, Mohammad's birthday or the Prophet's birthday.

The Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was born on the 12th of 573 AD in the city of Mecca. The full name of Prophet Hazrat Mohammad is Mohammad ibn Abdullah ibn Abdul Muttalib.

Back in history, the day was first celebrated as an official festival in Egypt, the celebrations of Eid-e-Milad became more popular during the 11th century.

This year, as per the Gregorian calendar, Eid Milad-Un-Nabi began on the evening of October 18, 2021, and will end on the evening of October 19, 2021.

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Pakistan

34 more succumb to COVID-19 in Pakistan; 1,656 new cases emerge 

Pakistan is presently experiencing the fourth wave of coronavirus which is said to be deadlier and more contagious than the previous three COVID waves. Today, the daily positivity rate in-country is at 3.26%.

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34 more succumb to COVID-19 in Pakistan; 1,656 new cases emerge 

Islamabad: Pakistan is presently experiencing the fourth wave of coronavirus which is said to be deadlier and more contagious than the previous three COVID waves. Today, the daily positivity rate in-country is at 3.26%.

According to National Command and Operations Center (NCOC), around 1,656 cases of coronavirus were reported while 35 people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 27,785.

The total number of cases has reached 1,249,858.

As many as 1,175,489 patients have recovered from the disease with 3,444 critical cases.

Punjab   

The number of patients swelled to 432,809 in the province with 12,672 causalities.

Sindh

The number of infections has surged to 459,392 in the province, while the death toll has reached 7,425.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The confirmed cases have surged to 174,490 in the province with 5,571 casualties.

Balochistan

There are 32,956 confirmed cases while 349 patients have died from the infection so far.

AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan

There are 34,216 coronavirus cases in the AJK while the death toll has reached 738. On the other hand, there are 10,331 cases in GB with 184 coronavirus deaths.

Islamabad

There are 105,664 cases in the capital city while 927 people have lost their lives.

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