Paris (AFP) – Climate change, cuisine and defence will be on the menu next week when French President Emmanuel Macron visits Australia.
French officials said Macron would also discuss security in the South Pacific with Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull on his first visit to the country as president.
The May 1-3 trip comes hot on the heels of Macron’s pomp-filled visit to Washington and Turnbull’s journey to Normandy for World War 1 Anzac Day commemorations.
Macron’s advisers said he wanted to discuss a “common response” to security and climate tensions in the South Pacific, which includes the French territory of New Caledonia.
The visit will also have a strong trade and cultural flavour.
France’s 40-year-old leader will discuss food Wednesday at a lunch with Australian and French chefs.
As often on his foreign visits, he will also meet local artists, specifically Aboriginal artists whose work deals with the climate change — a subject on which Macron, custodian of the 2015 Paris Agreement, has taken a leadership role.
He will also try to drum up business for French defence companies, a-year-and-a-half after Australia signed an Aus$50 billion (US$37 billion, 31 billion euros) deal to purchase 12 next-generation French submarines.
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said earlier this month that, with Britain poised to leave the European Union, Australia was anxious to deepen ties with other European countries.
Australia was already working “very closely” with France on the submarine project, she was quoted by Australian media as saying.