Aukus: as a sign of relief from tensions, Macron maintains a call with Johnson

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron are holding the first talks since the diplomatic dispute began.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told French President Emmanuel Macron that he wants to “restore cooperation” with Paris after a new security pact strained their relationship.

Macron’s office said the leaders spoke by phone on Friday, days after Johnson told France to “calm down” and give him a break.

Johnson had been responding to French anger over a new deal negotiated between the UK, the US and Australia that, according to officials in Paris, marked them.

The pact for the Indo-Pacific region, dubbed Aukus, led Australia to scrap a multi-million dollar deal with France to build conventional submarines.

Instead, it will acquire at least eight nuclear-powered submarines with American and British technology.

The talks on Friday between Macron and Johnson were called by the British prime minister, the Elysee Palace said.

During the call, Johnson told Macron that London looked forward to working with Paris “in line with our common values ​​and interests,” on issues such as the battle against climate change, the security of the Indo-Pacific region and the fight against climate change. “terrorism”. the Elysee Palace said.

Macron responded that he would wait to see Johnson’s proposals, his office added.

A Johnson spokesman said the prime minister and Macron had “reaffirmed the importance of the UK-France relationship.”

“They agreed … to continue to work closely together around the world on our shared agenda,” the spokesperson added.

Macron-Biden call

Talks on Friday could indicate that the diplomatic crisis between France and its long-standing allies may be subsiding.

On Wednesday, Macron and US President Joe Biden spoke on the phone for the first time since the fight.

The two leaders agreed to coordinate more closely in the Indo-Pacific, where China’s growing influence has preoccupied Western powers, and to meet in Europe in late October.

Paris also confirmed that it would send its ambassador back to Washington in the next few days.

France recalled its US and Australian ambassadors in the Aukus row last week, saying it was surprised by Australia’s decision to ditch its 2016 contract for French diesel submarines and develop vessels with the US and. the United Kingdom.

No such step was followed for London.

However, French Defense Minister Florence Parly withdrew from scheduled talks with her British counterpart, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, which were scheduled for this week in London.

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