European Union foreign ministers expressed support and solidarity with France on Monday during a meeting in New York to discuss Australia’s scrapping of a $40 billion submarine order with Paris in favour of a US and British deal. Speaking after the closed-door meeting on the sidelines annual U.N. gathering of world leaders, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said “more cooperation, more coordination, less fragmentation” was needed to achieve a stable and peaceful Indo-Pacific region where China is the major rising power. Australia said last week it would cancel an order for conventional submarines from France and instead build at least eight nuclear-powered submarines with US and British technology after striking a security partnership with those countries under the name AUKUS. “Certainly, we were caught by surprise by this announcement,” Borrell said. The decision enraged France and earlier on Monday in New York French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian accused US President Joe Biden’s administration of continuing his predecessor Donald Trump’s trends of “unilateralism, unpredictability, brutality and not respecting your partner.” The United States has sought to assuage the anger in France, a NATO ally. French President Emmanuel Macron and US President Joe Biden are due to speak on the phone in the next few days. “We are allies, we talk and don’t hide elaborate different strategies. That’s why there is a crisis in confidence,” Le Drian said. “So all that needs clarifications and explanations. It may take time.” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Monday that she expected Biden to “reaffirm our commitment to working with one of our oldest and closest partners on a range of challenges that the global community is facing” when he speaks with Macron. It is not clear if the dispute will have implications for the next round of EU-Australia trade talks, scheduled for October 12. Borrell met with Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne in New York on Monday. European Council President Charles Michel said that he found it difficult to understand the move by Australia, Britain and the United States.