Laurent Fabius meets with Julie Bishop, Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs [fr]
Laurent Fabius, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development, received Julie Bishop, Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs on Wednesday the 23rd of April at the Quai d’Orsay.
The Minister affirmed that despite the distance that separates them, Australia is a friend of France and a country that is close to its heart. He recalled the importance that the year 2014 holds for bilateral relations, not least for the centenary of World War One commemorations. On this occasion, French and Australians will remember their shared sacrifice in the name of liberty.
M. Fabius highlighted the remarkable work of Australian diplomacy within the framework of the United Nations Security Council where Australia is currently sitting in the capacity of a non-permanent member. The ministers discussed a range of contemporaneous regional issues, notably the crisis in Ukraine and the tragedy in Syria. Further, they discussed the rising tensions between China and Japan as well as the disappearance of MH370 in the Indian Ocean. M. Fabius noted that there is a convergence of points of view between France and Australia on all these issues.
The Minister broached the subject of climate change and the upcoming Paris 2015 climate conference calling on Australia to cooperate on this preeminent matter.
He underlined the excellent bilateral economic relations between the two countries and the shared wish to further develop them. The Minister spoke of a decision taken to strengthen French-Australian consular cooperation in Africa. He finished by indicating that the forthcoming visit by the President of the Republic following the G20 summit at the end of the year will be the first visit by a French head of state to Australia.
Video of the press conference (mostly in French):