THE frayed UK-US Special Relationship will be restitched this week as Boris Johnson diplomatically snuggles up to Joe Biden across the Atlantic.

But as world leaders gather in New York for the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, the US President’s greater diplomatic task will be refixing the shattered pieces of his partnership with Emmanuel Macron. It could take some time.

After the transatlantic flak with the PM over the West’s unseemly exit from Afghanistan, Biden will be happy to be pictured at the White House gripping and grinning with his New York-born British buddy, who knows UK interests are best served, in all manner of ways, by being on the best and closest of terms with the White House; whoever the incumbent is.

But as the frost begins to thaw in one place, it is icing up in another.

The unprecedented move by France to withdraw its ambassadors to the US and Australia is a shocking decision by such a close ally. French rage, however, is entirely understandable.

While all those happy moments among G7 leaders were being recorded back in June at sunny Carbis Bay in Cornwall, the leaders of the Anglosphere were sneakily hatching a defence pact, Aukus, behind Macron’s back.

The Australian Government had become exasperated by its £48 billion submarine deal with France, which had become dogged by delays, design changes and cost over-runs. The solution for Canberra was a switch, agreeing a deal for nuclear-powered subs with America, which will lead to not only jobs there but in Britain too.

Philippe Étienne, France’s ambassador to Washington, revealed he had learned of the new defence pact only thanks to media reports just hours before a beaming Biden made the TV announcement.

Jean-Yves Le Drian, France’s foreign minister, denounced the Anglospheric stitch-up as a "stab in the back".

No doubt, after he learned of the Aukus deal, Macron had to be peeled away from the ceiling of the Elysee Palace.

His sacre bleu moment will continue for some days, weeks and months. But with a presidential election next year, it is not a great look. Apart from anything else, it shows Paris’s diplomatic intelligence is somewhat lacking.

The row will be a gift to Marine Le Pen, leader of the right-wing National Rally, who is neck and neck with Macron in the opinion polls.

While France’s feeling of betrayal led to its withdrawal of its ambassadors, its ire might not stop there.  

Clement Beaune, the French European affairs minister, highlighted the ongoing talks on an Australia-EU free trade deal. “I don’t see how we can trust our Australian partners,” he admitted.

It seems France’s ambassador to Britain was not withdrawn because Paris regards London as a bit player in the drama, who acted “opportunistically.”

Last week, the PM told MPs relations with France remained “rock solid”. Indeed, there may be some in Whitehall who believe what is a crisis in US-French relations could provide an opportunity for the UK by not only helping to breathe life into the Special Relationship but also in some senses strengthen post-Brexit Britain’s role as the bridge between America and the EU.

That may be over-optimistic as what some fear the Aukus controversy has caused is a serious threat to the future viability of Nato.

Lord Ricketts, the former UK ambassador to France, pointed out how last year Macron described the western alliance as “brain dead” and feels the President will now be confirmed in that view by the Aukus row, which put a “big rift down the middle of the Nato alliance,” pushing France towards doing more with other EU countries and Britain into the US camp in dealing with the Indo-Pacific.

Last week, Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission President, said it was time for the 27-member bloc to “step up to the next level” and, post Afghanistan, it should be looking to beef up its military capabilities to confront security threats and global crises.

But this week as the Franco-American flak flies, Boris will have his primary focus on one thing during his four-day states-side visit: climate change.

In just six weeks’ time, the global gaze will be on Glasgow as Britain seeks to encourage the world to unite to save the planet from a climate catastrophe.

The biggest concern for the PM and, indeed, his fellow leaders, is not Macron’s ire but the indignation of President Xi.

While UK ministers tried to suggest Aukus was not directed at China, even Dilyn the Downing St dog knows it’s an attempt to counter Beijing's influence in the contested South China Sea.

The defence pact announcement comes after the UK Government’s review of security and foreign policy earlier this year outlined plans for a “tilt” towards the Indo-Pacific, where, by sheer coincidence the Royal Navy carrier strike group – led by HMS Queen Elizabeth with US support – is currently on deployment.

Beijing has, not surprisingly, vented its own anger at Aukus, denouncing it as displaying a “Cold War mentality” by America, Britain and Australia.

The great fear is China, by far the world’s biggest polluter, takes its unhappiness to Glasgow and decides to punish the Anglosphere by not upping its climate targets and not abandoning its use of coal.

Last week, analysis warned most countries, particularly the biggest polluters, were not doing enough to achieve the Paris goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and that unless dramatic action was taken, then the terrible floods, heatwaves and droughts many countries have had to suffer in recent times will become the normal cycle in less than 20 years’ time.

So, just when Boris needs an atmosphere of international solidarity to help make COP26 a success, a storm of diplomatic tensions is breaking.

One can only hope world leaders can raise their hearts and minds above such passing difficulties and look beyond the horizon to safeguarding the future of the planet.

But if success in Glasgow rests on Boris’s diplomatic skills, then I fear experience could triumph over hope.