COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Denmark’s prime minister said on Wednesday she did not believe a new security pact between Australia, Britain and the United States that excluded France and cost Paris a defence project was grounds for a transatlantic dispute.

Mette Frederiksen said U.S. President Joe Biden was a loyal defender of European-U.S. ties, breaking ranks with Germany and the European Commission, who on Tuesday sided with France and warned of lost trust with the United States.

“I think it is important to say, in relation to the discussions that are taking place right now in Europe, that I experience Biden as being very loyal to the transatlantic alliance,” Frederiksen told Danish daily Politiken from New York, where she was attending the United Nations General Assembly.

“And I think in general that one should refrain from lifting some specific challenges, which will always exist between allies, up to a level where they are not supposed to be. I really, really want to warn against this,” she added.

France said it was assessing all options in response to Australia’s scrapping of a $40 billion submarine contract last week after Washington offered Canberra more advanced, nuclear technology.

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The conciliatory tone follows her call in June for better ties between the United States and the EU despite a Danish media report that the United States spied on French and German leaders through Danish information cables.

(Reporting by Stine Jacobsen, writing by Robin Emmott, editing by Giles Elgood)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.

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