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Macron: Australia Must Suggest Steps to Repair Relations With France After Diplomatic Crisis

© REUTERS / THAIER AL-SUDANIFrance's President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a news conference with Iraq's President Barham Salih (not seen) ahead of the Baghdad summit at the Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq August 28, 2021
France's President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a news conference with Iraq's President Barham Salih (not seen) ahead of the Baghdad summit at the Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq August 28, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.10.2021
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PARIS (Sputnik) - In his phone conversation with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, French President Emmanuel Macron called on Canberra to propose some specific actions to reshape the bilateral relations after the termination of the submarine contract, the Elysee Palace said on Thursday.

"The president of the republic recalled that Australia's unilateral decision to reduce the French-Australian strategic partnership by withdrawing from the submarine program in favour of another project, which is yet to be clarified, damaged the trust-based relations between our two countries ... Now the Australian government must propose some specific actions that would embody the will of the Australian authorities to review the basis of our bilateral relations and continue to cooperate in the Indo-Pacific region", the Elysee Palace said in a statement following the negotiations.

This was Macron's first conversation with the Australian prime minister since the diplomatic crisis sparked by Australia's decision to cancel the multi-billion diesel-electric submarine deal in the wake of AUKUS alliance formation. As a part of its pact with Washington and London, Canberra is supposed to be able to build a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines in domestic shipyards using American and British reactor technology.
Paris responded by calling the cancellation of the deal a "stab in the back" and the three countries' behaviour "unacceptable". France recalled its envoys from the US and Australia and scrapped a defence summit with Britain.
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