Macron Shrugs Off Truss Jibe And Says ‘It’s Time To Be Friends’

After UK Prime Minister Liz Truss said the “jury is out” on whether the French president is a “friend or foe,” French President Emmanuel Macron said there is a “will to move on.”

On the eve of the United Nations summit in New York, the pair held their first bilateral meeting since Truss sparked controversy during the Tory leadership election.

According to Downing Street, the pair did not discuss the Northern Ireland Protocol or unauthorised Channel crossings during their meeting. These were two of the events that were thought to have triggered Truss’s initial remark.

According to No. 10, the prime minister had a “constructive” conversation lasting about a half-hour that focused on energy security rather than the two major points of contention.

Macron reportedly welcomed their conversations on Ukraine and other European issues, saying: “I now believe in proof, in results. There is a will to re-engage, to move on and to show that we are allies and friends in a complex world.”

Prior to the meeting, Truss attempted to strike a conciliatory tone, emphasizing the importance of cooperating on small boats and opposing Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine.

During the Tory leadership election, she sparked a diplomatic row by refusing to say whether the president of the allied nation was a “friend or foe.”

Instead, last month, the then-foreign secretary declared that the “jury is out.” According to No 10, Macron did mention the formation of a European Political Community that would include non-EU states such as the United Kingdom.

According to the spokesman, he did not invite Britain to a meeting about the grouping scheduled for October in Prague.

The government intends to resolve protocol issues with the EU, according to Truss’ official spokesman, adding, “This is not an issue that we necessarily believe can be solved through one single EU country.”

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However, the spokesman declined to comment on whether she will bring up the protocol with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday.

Prior to her meeting with Macron, Truss emphasized that one of the issues on which the two countries must collaborate is addressing migrant crossings in small boats.

“That is one of the issues that we need to work with France in a constructive way on,” Truss told reporters.

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