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- Following the submarine dispute, Macron tells the Australian Prime Minister that he wants to concentrate on the future

Image: Reuters Berita 24 English - In an effort to mend relations that have been severely strained by his predecessor's decision to canc...


Image: Reuters

Berita 24 English - In an effort to mend relations that have been severely strained by his predecessor's decision to cancel a submarine deal with Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron told the incoming Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese that he wants to concentrate on the future.


When Australia decided to forgo a multi-billion dollar French submarine programme in favour of submarines using American and British technology, relations between the two Western allies deteriorated dramatically.



When Albanese met them in the Elysee Palace in Paris, they were questioned about whether Australia need to apologise.



Macron retorted, "He's not to blame for what happened. We'll discuss the future rather than the past.



Paris had been furious at the decision to cancel the lucrative contract.



As the then-Australian prime minister, conservative Scott Morrison, was accused of lying, Macron responded angrily, recalling the French ambassador to Australia, while the French foreign minister claimed Canberra had "stabbed its ally in the back."



However, Morrison's party came in last in the May elections, and his Labour replacement has vowed to mend fences with France.



Albanese thanked Macron for the warm welcome in a statement at the French presidential residence, but also seemed to make reference to the conflict: "Trust, respect, and honesty important," he added.



Australia has become a key component of Paris' Indo-Pacific strategy to challenge China's expansion, which has 8,000 troops stationed there and 1 million residents living in areas spanning the Indian and Pacific Oceans.



In order to strengthen its military connections with nations in the area, France has specifically provided combat planes to Indonesia and India.



In addition to discussing defence and geostrategic problems, Macron said the two would also talk about "new projects" involving renewable energy, vital metals, space exploration, and the poles, given that both countries have territory in Antarctica.

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