French President Emmanuel Macron and the new Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese spoke Thursday to “rebuild a relationship… (of) trust” after ruptured ties over a scrapped submarine deal, Macron’s office said Thursday.
The two leaders spoke by telephone and agreed “to rebuild a bilateral relationship founded on trust and respect”, a statement said, noting the breakdown in confidence under the last government in Canberra which halted a major deal to buy French submarines.
Macron’s office said the two sides would work together on pressing global issues including climate change and strategic challenges in the Indo-Pacific region.
“A roadmap will be prepared to structure this new bilateral agenda… to reinforce our resilience and contribute to peace and regional security,” it said.
Ties between Paris and Canberra plummeted after former Australian prime minister Scott Morrison tore up a submarine deal with France’s Naval Group last year and opted for US or British nuclear-powered alternatives as part of a landmark security agreement with Washington and London.
The switch caused fury in Paris, with Macron accusing Morrison of lying about the future of the contract worth more than 50 billion euros.
France also recalled its ambassador to the United States, its historic ally, in an unprecedented move.
In April, Australian authorities said Canberra could pay up to 3.7 billion euros to France to end the deal.