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EU postpones preparatory talks for new U.S. council in submarine dispute, diplomats say

FILE PHOTO: European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium May 5, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union ambassadors have postponed discussions to prepare for a new EU-U.S. trade and technology council on Sept. 29 in protest at Washington’s submarine agreement with Australia at France’s expense, two EU diplomats said.

A public agenda document also shows the talks between the EU’s 27 envoys had been withdrawn but did not give a reason. Two diplomats said the European Commission, the EU executive, had asked for the discussion to be postponed.

The inaugural EU-U.S. council, announced at a transatlantic summit in June, is due to take place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen told broadcaster CNN that treatment of France was “not acceptable.”

Reporting by Robin Emmott