France, Britain need to show alliance in complex world - Macron

·2-min read
Liz Truss visit to U.S. for the United Nations General Assembly, in New York

NEW YORK (Reuters) -France and Britain need to show that they are allies and friends in this complicated world, President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday after meeting newly appointed British Prime Minister Liz Truss.

The two leaders were meeting face-to-face for the first time and just weeks after Truss questioned whether Paris was a friend or foe. Relations between the two powers have been difficult ever since Britain left the European Union.

"I now believe in proof, in results," Macron said. "There is a will to re-engage, to move on and to show that we are allies and friends in a complex world."

The two were pictured smiling with Truss embracing French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, a former ambassador to Britain.

Macron said they had discussed a range of topics, including the war in Ukraine and European matters, including a French proposal to create a European Political Community, which would invite non-EU European states to discuss common areas of interest. Macron has repeatedly said he hoped to persuade Britain to take part.

However, while Macron appeared to offer an olive branch, a readout from Truss' office made no mention of bilateral ties.

"As our people face a difficult winter with huge uncertainty of energy supply and the cost of living, the Prime Minister and President Macron underscored the importance of working together to end reliance on Russian energy and strengthen energy security," the spokesperson said.

"We must continue to demonstrate to (Russian President Vladimir) Putin that his economic blackmail over energy and food supplies will not succeed."

At the last G7 summit a year ago, held on the coast of western England, then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson demanded new rules to import cold meat into Northern Ireland, a quarrel dubbed the "sausage wars". In September, Paris became furious at London for agreeing a trilateral deal with the United States to supply submarines to Australia, replacing plans for Canberra to buy French ones instead.

(Reporting by John Irish; editing by Jonathan Oatis)