UK’s Johnson reaches out to Macron amid submarine dispute

Sep 23, 2021, 7:16 PM | Updated: Sep 24, 2021, 7:18 am

PARIS (AP) — 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.

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UK’s Johnson reaches out to Macron amid submarine dispute