M. President, Your Excellencies,
It’s a great pleasure for me to be here with you in this wonderful place.
Liberty and affinity. The first of these words is something that the French know much about. No one understands liberty more than the French. Affinity is the word we use to describe our partnership. An affinity across so many different areas of the relationship that you’ve just heard Emmanuel speak of, on everything from countering terrorism to our partnership in the Indo-pacific where in recent times we have sailed together, just in these last few weeks, through the South China Sea together. Every element of our partnership is about reinforcing the values and the beliefs that we hold dearly.
And Emmanuel I want to particularly thank you for your leadership on so many of these issues. I’ve just joined you again for the G7 when several years ago you kindly invited Jenny and I to be part of the Biarritz G7, which was another wonderful occasion. But since that time the world has changed dramatically and your leadership through this time, not only here of course, in France, but across Europe, amongst the G7 community and far beyond that. I’ve had the good fortune to see it at close order. The way France responded to the Christchurch massacre, your immediate stepping in together with New Zealand, part of our family, and to get behind and drive the Christchurch call.
The work that you’ve done in supporting and standing with Australia, as you’ve just mentioned, as we go through some difficult times in the Indo-pacific. And we greatly appreciate that. The leadership you are showing on combatting climate change, but practical, practically addressing the challenges of technology that are necessary to ensure that not only is a carbon neutral economy achieved in advanced economies, but importantly that it’s achieved in developing economies. And for that to occur it requires the technology that makes it achievable for them.
These are all things that I hear your President speak of at every occasion when we gather. And he speaks passionately and forcefully because it comes from the heart and it comes from belief. And that is a very easy thing for passionate Australians to connect with, with Emmanuel Macron. And so I’m looking forward to the discussions that we have tonight Emmanuel, across so many of these areas which you’ve already outlined.
A couple of words, particular thanks to not just on the work that you’ve done on the Christchurch call, which I know is dear to your heart. I also want to thank you for the way that you engaged in Australia during the terrible explosion that occurred in Beirut. While we were all dealing with so many other issues, with COVID and the challenges in our economy, France acted very quickly and I appreciate the way that you included Australia in that response and kept us informed because we have so many Australians with Lebanese background, and so many Australians who were in Lebanon at the time.
So we are good friends, we are good partners, we share common goals and we share common values and that’s why our partnership with liberty and affinity I think is one that we’ll be able to progress further this evening.
So thank you very much, Emmanuel. I’m sorry Jenny couldn’t be here on this occasion, but she sends her best to you and Brigitte and I look forward to our what will be friendly discussions no doubt tonight.