PARIS: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson sought to smooth over tensions with France over a geopolitical submarine dispute, promising in a phone call Friday with French President Emmanuel Macron that their countries would cooperate closely together around the world.
France remains deeply angered by a strategic submarine deal by the U.S., Australia and Britain announced last week and kept secret from France – whose own $66 billion submarine deal with Australia was scuppered as a result.
Macron’s office said Johnson requested Friday’s phone call and “expressed his intention to restore cooperation between France and the United Kingdom,” notably in the Indo-Pacific region, on climate issues and in the fight against terrorism.
Macron told Johnson that “he is waiting for his proposals,” according to the terse French statement.
Johnson’s office gave a more upbeat version, saying the two leaders “reaffirmed the importance of the UK-France relationship and agreed to continue working closely together around the world on our shared agenda, through NATO and bilaterally.”
They also discussed cooperation against migrant trafficking in the Channel.