France intends to return its ambassador to Australia, an official from the Élysée Palace said on Wednesday without providing a specific date.
French President Emmanuel Macron would be ready to speak with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison if the talks were “prepared in a serious manner,” sources revealed.
Macron affirmed on Tuesday that European countries must boost their defence plans and make themselves “respected,” noting that his country opened talks with the United States following the submarine contract dispute that has led to a diplomatic crisis.
“Europeans must come out of their naivety,” Macron said during a news conference in Paris where he spoke publicly for the first time about the AUKUS defence deal between the UK, US and Australia that sank a multi-billion French contract.
“When we are under pressure … showing that we also have power and the capacity to defend ourselves … is simply making ourselves be respected,” he added.
France has recalled its ambassador to Australia, Jean-Pierre Thébault, in a ferocious row over the scrapping of a submarine contract.
This diplomatic backlash came two days after Australia announced the scrapping of a major purchase of French conventional submarines in favour of US nuclear-powered submarines.