Top diplomats from US, France expected to meet on Thursday - US official

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to have a bilateral meeting with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Thursday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, a senior US State Department official said.

France last week recalled its ambassador from the United States after Australia ditched a $40-billion defense contract with Paris for the purchase of submarines and opted for US submarines instead.

The official, briefing reporters on Wednesday evening, after US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron spoke by phone and released a joint statement, said the United States "very much welcomes France's deep engagement in the Indo-Pacific region."

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