France and Australia say they are ready to rebuild bilateral relations

·1 min read
FILE PHOTO: Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida hold a bilateral meeting alongside the Quad leaders' summit in Tokyo

PARIS (Reuters) - France and Australia are ready to rebuild their bilateral relationship after Australians voted last week to oust a government that had angered Paris by ditching a submarine procurement contract between the two countries.

In a statement released on Thursday, the French presidential palace said French President Emmanuel Macron had called new Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to congratulate him on his election. The Labor Party leader was sworn in on Monday.

"After acknowledging the severe breach of trust following the decision of the previous prime minister, Scott Morrison, to terminate the submarine contracts, the French president and Australia's prime minister have agreed to rebuild a bilateral relation based on trust and respect (...)," the Elysee said.

"A roadmap will be established to structure this new bilateral agenda (...)," the statement added.

Last October, France accused its allies of stabbing it in the back when Australia opted for nuclear-powered submarines to be built with U.S. and British technology instead of a multi-billion dollar French submarine programme.

(Reporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Paul Simao)

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