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HomeAFPLeaders of France, Australia hold first talks since subs row

Leaders of France, Australia hold first talks since subs row

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French President Emmanuel Macron spoke with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison by telephone on Thursday for the first time since the diplomatic crisis over a scrapped submarine deal last month, the Elysee Palace said.

Macron reiterated that Canberra’s decision to cancel a deal for conventional-powered French subs in favour of US nuclear vessels “had broken the relation of trust between our two countries,” his office said in a statement.

“It is now up to the Australian government to propose concrete actions that could embody the will of Australian authorities to redefine the bases of our relationship and pursue joint action in the Indo-Pacific region,” it said.Paris was furious after Australia ditched the deal last month, saying it had been given no warning that Australia was instead negotiating a new defence pact with the US and Britain.Australia had signed a contract in 2016 to buy the French subs, a deal worth Aus$50 billion (31 billion euros, $36.5 billion) when signed.

France recalled its ambassadors to Australia and the US in protest, with Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian denouncing “a stab in the back”.Paris is also insisting on financial compensation.

“Close attention will now be paid regarding the situation for the French companies and their sub-contractors, including Australian firms, impacted by this decision”

“Looking ahead to the upcoming G20 in Rome and COP26 in Glasgow, the President of the French Republic encouraged the Australian Prime Minister to adopt ambitious measures commensurate with the climate challenge, in particular the ratcheting up of the nationally determined contribution, the commitment to cease production and consumption of coal at the national level and abroad, and greater Australian support to the International Solar Alliance”, the Elysee statement said.

Le Courrier Australien is publishing this Read Out at the request of the Office of the Prime Minister, whom we are honoured to count among our attentive readers.
“The President Macron did not raise or comment on our climate ambitions”

“President Macron called the Prime Minister on Thursday evening, following a letter from the Prime Minister (PM) Morrison earlier this month.
The Prime Minister was pleased to be able to speak with President Macron. They had a candid discussion on the bilateral relationship.

The Prime Minister looks forward to future collaborations on our shared interests, particularly in the Indo-Pacific.

The Prime Minister also took the opportunity to inform the President about Australia’s commitment to deliver net zero emissions by 2050.

The President Macron did not raise or comment on our climate ambitions. The PM raised our recently announced target to reach net zero by 2050 and our interests in working together on low-emission technology, especially hydrogen.

The call occurred at 6pm Thursday, which is why departure for the PMs trip overseas was later than originally scheduled.

The letter to President Macron included a handwritten note from the PM.”

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