While Josep Borrell Fontelles, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, said on Monday that the bloc’s foreign ministers had expressed “clear solidarity” with France, others have called the dispute a bilateral matter, wary that strong condemnations would hurt wider interests.
The rift has become a European issue, as French officials seek to postpone the first meeting of a new E.U.-U.S. Trade and Technology Council scheduled for Sept. 29, according to a European diplomat who talked about the issue on condition of anonymity. A French official declined to comment on Tuesday.
The dispute could also impact trade discussions between the European Union and Australia, which the French have said cannot continue for now.
“Now the trust is missing,” Bernd Lange, the chairman of the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade, told ABC, an Australian broadcaster, on Tuesday.
The submarine deal came after a chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan about which European leaders said they had not been consulted. Many officials who had welcomed the election of President Biden — and his pledge that “America is back” — are now expressing concerns.