Technical glitch interrupts Macron speech to climate summit

Washington (AFP) –

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The perils of virtual high-stakes diplomacy hit the world stage on Thursday when a technical mixup saw hosts United States cut off France's Emmanuel Macron mid-speech during the global climate summit.

The streamed summit, in which US President Joe Biden announced aggressive new targets for cutting emissions and other world leaders reaffirmed their commitments, suffered a rocky start when an echo marred the entirety of Vice President Kamala Harris's remarks.

The issue was resolved though, as comments by Biden, Chinese President Xi Jinping and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi were largely trouble-free when they spoke live by video link.

But barely one minute into Macron's address, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is heard speaking over the French president to thank him, then turned the floor over to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Putin appeared to hesitate, and looked off camera multiple times. Blinken, in an aside, said "they may be getting Macron because that was a tape of Macron."

Eventually Putin delivered his remarks, telling the summit that Russia was committed to fulfilling its obligations to fight climate change.

Afterward came an apology of sorts, with Blinken telling listeners that "we had some technical difficulties."

Macron's speech was then replayed in its entirety, although there were still some glitches with delayed translator's remarks.