The office of the French president says UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has expressed a desire to “re-establish cooperation” amid tension between the states following the recent revelation of the AUKUS submarine deal.
In a statement released by Emmanuel Macron’s office on Friday, French officials stated that Johnson had informed the president that the British government would like to “re-establish cooperation… in line with our values and our common interests,” raising joint goals, such as tackling climate change.
While the French government did not elaborate on Macron’s full response, it said he informed Johnson that “he is awaiting his proposals” on how the two sides can rebuild their relationship.
The UK’s attempt to reach out to France comes just days after Johnson told the media that French officials should “prenez un grip” (‘get a grip’) and “donnez-moi un break,” (‘give me a break’) over its response to the AUKUS proposal.
The current dip in relations between France and the UK centres on the recently announced AUKUS deal, which saw Canberra abandon a lucrative military supply agreement with France in favor of acquiring nuclear submarines from Britain and America. France has described the AUKUS deal as “a stab in the back” that damaged “the relationship of trust.”
France and the UK have been at odds in recent months over a number of political issues emanating from the latter’s departure from the EU, notably fishing rights and illegal migration, as well as attempts by Johnson’s government to rewrite the Withdrawal Agreement.
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