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Australia - Meeting between Laurent Fabius and his counterpart (Paris, April 21, 2015)

This meeting falls within the framework of the French-Australian strategic partnership signed in January 2012. This framework provides for high-level consultations to strengthen our cooperation in all areas and to promote the integration of French Pacific territories into their regional environment.

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Our relationship is driven by ever-stronger substantive political dialogue.
On 22 September 2015, the President of the French Republic spoke on the telephone to the new Australian Prime Minister, Mr Turnbull. In particular, they discussed Australia’s involvement in the Paris climate conference (COP 21) in December. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development also held discussions with his Australian counterpart, Ms Bishop. Discussions focused on the situation in Syria-Iraq and climate.

April 2015 saw the working visits of the Australian Prime Minister (25-27 April) and Foreign Minister (20-21 April). Mr Abbott met with the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister, discussing in particular the fight against terrorism. Ms Bishop met with the Minister and the Minister of State for Development and Francophonie to discuss the bilateral relationship as well as major topical and development issues. Following the change of Prime Minister in Australia, the President of the Republic held a phone conversation with Mr Turnbull.

The official visit of the President of the Republic to Australia in the margins of the G20 Summit in November 2014 was the first state visit of a President of the Republic to Australia. In 2014, the Australian Prime Minister participated in the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings and met with the President of the Republic on 7 June. The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ms Julie Bishop, met with the Foreign Minister in Paris on 23 April 2014. They had first met in the margins of the UN General Assembly in September 2013.

On 24 April 2013, the Minister of Foreign Affairs held talks with Mr Bob Carr, his Australian counterpart. It was their third meeting following their meeting in Paris on 20 September 2012 and their political consultations held in Tokyo on 8 July. This interview, in which issues relating to the bilateral relationship and major topical issues were discussed, was part of the French-Australian strategic partnership. In September 2012, Mr Carr also spoke with Mr Canfin, Minister Delegate for Development, on development challenges in the Pacific and Africa.

In April 2012, the Governor-General, Lady Quentin Bryce, accompanied by Mr Richard Marles, Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, made her first official visit to New Caledonia. She met with the President of the Government as well as the President of the Congress.

On 19 January 2012, Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Paris. After the consultations, the two Ministers signed a strategic partnership declaration covering political, economic, military and cultural domains. The Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, Mr Richard Marles, met with the Minister for Overseas France and the Minister for Cooperation on 26 January 2012.

The Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, attended the G20 Summit in Cannes in 2011. On 19 Febraury, Mr Wayne Swan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, took part in the G20 Finance meetings. The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Mr Warren Snowdon, visited Ranville on 19 April 2011 to take part in the burial ceremony for an Australian pilot who went missing on 11 June 1944 and whose body was found in November 2010. On 19 July, he visited Fromelles to take part in the commemorative ceremony to mark the 95th anniversary of the battle there. On 29 July 2011, the Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, Mr Richard Marles, attended the ceremonies commemorating the 50th anniversary of the accession of Wallis and Futuna to the status of French overseas territory. It was the first visit by an Australian Minister to that French collectivity.

The Minister of Foreign and European Affairs visited Australia on 10-12 September 2011. During his visit, he met with the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister. The Minister and his Australian counterpart commemorated the 10th anniversary of 11 September by laying a wreath at the War Memorial.

In 2010, the visit to Australia by a large delegation from the Government of New Caledonia, led by the President of the Government of New Caledonia and the High Commissioner of the Republic, confirmed the shared desire to strengthen partnerships between Canberra and Nouméa.



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