White House accused of scrubbing Macron criticism of Biden from official transcript of Afghanistan call

Sharp remarks made by Macron in a phone call with Joe Biden have been omitted from the US’s own statement on the phone call

Arpan Rai
Monday 23 August 2021 16:18
Comments
<p>File: Emmanuel Macron, in a phone call with Joe Biden, underscored the ‘collective moral responsibility toward the Afghan men and women who need our protection’</p>

File: Emmanuel Macron, in a phone call with Joe Biden, underscored the ‘collective moral responsibility toward the Afghan men and women who need our protection’

The White House has been accused of omitting French president Emmanuel Macron’s scathing remarks from an official press communication on US president Joe Biden’s handling of the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Afghanistan.

The document, carrying a statement from a call between the presidents on 19 August, was released by both the governments, but carried uniquely different stances.

While both the statements lauded efforts by personnel on the ground and continued coordination among allies in Afghanistan, the statement by the French government had a sharp take on evacuation efforts.

The statement from the White House said both presidents “lauded the tireless efforts of their personnel working closely together in Kabul on the evacuation of their citizens, the brave Afghans who have stood by us and our NATO partners, and other vulnerable Afghan nationals”.

The statement released by the French government, however, said Mr Macron reminded Mr Biden of the “collective moral responsibility” towards Afghan men and women.

It added that Mr Macron “underscored the absolute need for swift, concrete coordination between the allies to ensure the evacuation of our citizens, Afghan men and women who worked for the allies, and those who are in danger.”

“We cannot abandon them,” it added.

Official statement released by the France government on call with US President Joe Biden.

“The head of state emphasised our collective moral responsibility toward the Afghan men and women who need our protection and who share our values,” the statement read.

The statement released by the US, however, left out Mr Macron’s cutting remarks.

“They [Biden and Macron] lauded the tireless efforts of their personnel working closely together in Kabul on the evacuation of their citizens, the brave Afghans who have stood by us and our NATO partners, and other vulnerable Afghan nationals,” it read.

The two leaders talked about “the importance of continued close coordination among allies and democratic partners on Afghanistan, including through multilateral fora, on the provision of humanitarian assistance and support for refugees,” according to the US statement.

Readout of President Joe Biden’s call with French President Emmanuel Macron on crisis in Afghanistan.

The differences in the statement reflected a departure from the diplomatic ties exhibited by the two western allies, whose presidents were seen to be on amicable terms just a month ago during a G7 summit on the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Biden had then said that both the countries were “on the same page”, with Macron praising Mr Biden’s leadership in handling the pandemic.

The statements from both the western countries comes in the backdrop of the crisis in Afghanistan as the Taliban took control of the country.

Western countries, mainly US and UK, are rushing to pull out its citizens and allies from Afghanistan ahead of the 31 August deadline set by the US, which has evacuated close to 30,300 people from the country.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in