Submarine affair: Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron agree to “work in close collaboration”

the essential An interview was held between the two men in the morning of Friday, after the affair of the submarines and the breach of the “contract of the century”, which caused strong tensions between France and the United Kingdom.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron agreed this Friday 24 September in a telephone interview to “continue to work closely together”, despite the strong tensions caused by the diplomatic submarine crisis, according to Downing Street. “They reaffirmed the importance of the relationship between the United Kingdom and France,” said a spokesman for Boris Johnson in a statement, also recalling “the strategic importance of (their) long-standing cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region and Africa “.

This interview, which was held in the morning “at the request” of London according to Paris, was intended to reduce the tension between the two countries linked to the announcement on 15 September of a strategic partnership between the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom, which resulted in the cancellation of a mega-contract for French submarines in Canberra.

“Give me a break”

A sign of its discontent, Paris had canceled a meeting scheduled this week between the French Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly and her British counterpart Ben Wallace. Boris Johnson had called on Wednesday France to pull itself together by asking him, in Frenglish: “Give me a break” (“Give me a break”, “Let me breathe”). But this Friday, the British Prime Minister “expressed his intention to re-establish cooperation between France and the United Kingdom, in accordance with our values ​​and our common interests (climate, Indo-Pacific, fight against terrorism, etc.)”, the French presidency said in a statement.

The French and British leaders also raised during this interview the delicate issue of record arrivals of migrants illegally crossing the Channel. Boris Johnson “reiterated the UK’s position that we need to break the business model of life-threatening migrant smugglers,” Downing Street said, saying the two leaders “agreed to step up cooperation on that question”.

More than 14 000 migrants have arrived on the coasts of southern England via this route since the start of the year, according to the British news agency PA. This is much more than all of last year (more than 8 000).

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