Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to visit Paris to ‘reset’ Australia’s relationship with France & More Trending News

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has confirmed he’ll visit French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris subsequent week to formally “reset” diplomatic relations, which had been flung into the freezer after the Morrison authorities scrapped an enormous deal to construct 12 submarines.

In an interview on the ABC’s 7.30, Mr Albanese stated he was invited to France by Mr Macron and anticipated to obtain a heat welcome.

“We do need to reset. We’ve already had very constructive discussions,” the Prime Minister added.

Earlier this month, the brand new Labor authorities introduced it had agreed to pay French shipbuilder Naval Group $835 million in compensation for the scraped deal.

In whole, $3.4 billion was spent on this system, a determine Mr Albanese labelled an “extraordinary waste” of taxpayer cash.

“France, of course, is central to power in Europe, but it’s also a key power in the Pacific, in our own region as well,” Mr Albanese informed Leigh Sales.

“What we are able to supply is a relationship between our respective leaders that will not be leaked so as to make an opportunistic headline within the newspaper, certainly one of respect and honesty in the way in which that we deal with one another.”

Macron Morrison
Anthony Albanese says the relationship between Australia and France must be reset following the collapse of the submarine deal.(Supplied: Prime Minister’s Office, Adam Taylor)

The submarine deal with France came at a time when Mr Macron was talking up the country’s future as an “Indo-Pacific energy” fully committed to the region.

On a visit to Sydney in 2018, the President said the submarines were just the “very starting” of a closer relationship with Australia that would be developed for “the approaching 50 years”.

France is considered a key partner in efforts to limit China’s expanding power and influence in the Pacific.

Albanese set to attend NATO summit and also urged to visit Ukraine

Mr Albanese will be in Europe next week for a larger-than-normal NATO summit, where the Russian invasion of Ukraine will be the main item on the agenda.

The Ukrainian ambassador in Canberra, Vasyl Myroshnychenko, is hopeful the Prime Minister might use the trip to offer more military assistance to his war-torn country.

“We want extra heavy weaponry,” Mr Myroshnychenko stated, including he hoped Australia would ship extra Bushmasters, a Bendigo-built troop provider.

A Bushmaster sporting Ukrainian flags stands in front of a Globemaster airplane on the tarmac
The Ukrainian ambassador in Canberra hopes extra navy help could be supplied to Ukraine.(Department of Defence: LACW Emma Schwenke)

“We’ve acquired 40 Bushmasters … it could be nice to get one other 20,” he said.

“I feel it is coming that we’ll get a younger [Ukrainian] boy referred to as Bushmaster.

“I think it’s coming because Bushmaster is probably the most recognisable brand name of Australia in Ukraine right now, because if you mention Australia the next thing you hear is ‘Bushmasters’.”

Mr Albanese has additionally been invited to visit Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv. However, as is often the case for journeys close to battle zones, he declined to verify whether or not he was taking on the supply.

Man in khaki t-shirt speaks to soldiers.
Mr Albanese says he’s getting nationwide safety recommendation on assembly Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.(Reuters: Ukrainian Presidential Press Service)

“We’re getting national security advice on that,” Mr Albanese stated.

“We don’t want to cause a circumstance whereby there’s risk to Australian personnel by undertaking such a visit.

Even though much of the discussion at NATO is going to be about Russia’s invasion, some defence and intelligence experts are urging the Prime Minister to use his trip to remind allies of China’s growing aims for our region.

Albanese gives a thumbs up from the tarmac in front of a plane
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will likely be heading to Europe subsequent week for the NATO summit.(AAP: Lukas Coch)

“They’re attempting to push us round and coerce us in our area of speedy strategic concern,” Paul Dibb, a highly regarded analyst, said.

Mr Dibb had an extensive career in Australian intelligence and defence, and was the primary author of the 1987 Defence White Paper.

“Our Prime Minister, our Foreign Minister and our Defence Minister want to hold on the centre of their minds, deeply etched in, their first precedence is the defence of this nation and ensuring that our speedy area just isn’t dominated by an aggressive expansionist energy,” he said.

“That has to be their first precedence and it should not be eroded by being excited, if I’ll so, about Europe and NATO.”

Government to put ‘brakes’ on spending in October price range

Faced with a number of international and domestic challenges, the new government has also inherited a budget that is on track to be more than a trillion dollars in debt in a few years’ time.

With inflation and interest rates rising, the Prime Minister has said some things he would like to do in the government’s first budget in October will have to wait.

“We’re going to have to actually put the brakes on a few of the spending which is there,” Mr Albanese said.

“I’ve made it very clear there are a selection of issues we want to do that we cannot give you the option to do in our first price range.

“We will also be going through, line by line, looking for the waste.”

Jim Chalmers and Katy Gallagher walk through a courtyard at Parliament House
Jim Chalmers and Katy Gallagher have stated they may undergo the price range line by line to search for waste and rorts.(ABC News: Ian Cutmore)

Quite a lot of economists predict the federal government can have to begin a tough dialog about how the nation pays for the companies Australians have come to anticipate.

“I expect the October budget will be simply about delivering on the promises they took to the election,” Danielle Wood from the Grattan Institute stated.

“I think by the time we get to next May, those fiscal challenges are going to be really starting to bite.”

Labor’s election dedication was to not increase taxes or have new ones — besides on multinationals — although, in the long run, broader reform could also be required.

“I think tax has to be on the agenda,” Ms Wood stated.

“That may just be making the case for changes that the government might take to the next election.”

Watch the interview on 7.30 tonight on ABC TV and ABC iview.

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