France’s decision to send its ambassador back to Canberra after recent tensions over a canceled €50 billion-plus submarine deal is a “good thing,” Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison said Thursday, echoing a series of Cabinet members eager to mend their relationship with Paris, reports Politico.
“France’s presence and significance and influence in the Indo-Pacific isn’t about a contract,” Morrison said. “It’s about the fact they have an actual presence here, in the Indo-Pacific, they have a long-standing commitment and work with Australia across a whole range of different issues,” he added. France is the only EU country to have territories in the Indian and Pacific oceans.
Australian foreign minister Marise Payne also voiced optimism over the announced return of French ambassador Jean-Pierre Thébault.
“We will work with France to move forward with our relationship. We recognize this will take time and ongoing engagement following our submarine decision. The return of the ambassador is a welcome step in this process,” Payne said in a statement.