Liz Truss ends rivalry with Macron after ‘foe or friend’ question
Liz Truss is asked whether Emmanuel Macron is a ‘friend’
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In an apparent hint of a reconciliation with her French counterpart, Prime Minister Liz Truss has today acknowledged Emmanuel Macron is a “friend”. The Prime Minister made the comments on the sidelines of the inaugural summit of the European Political Community (EPC) in Prague. Liz Truss is hoping to build stronger relations with European and non-European counterparts to tackle a series of issues like the energy crisis.
When asked if Macron is a foe or a friend, she told Sky News: “We are both very clear that the foe is Vladimir Putin who has through his appalling war in Ukraine threatened freedom and democracy in Europe and pushed up energy prices, which we’re now all having to deal with.”
The Sky News reporter then asked: “He’s a friend, you can say that.”
Ms Truss said: “He’s a friend.”
Liz Truss said Emmanuel Macron is a friend (Image: YOUTUBE/@SKYNEWS)
Liz Truss said they both agreed the enemy is Putin (Image: YOUTUBE/@SKYNEWS)
In an effort to tackle the challenges crippling the UK, Liz Truss has joined European and non-European leaders in a new group dedicated to advancing security and energy cooperation across the continent.
The first meeting of the European Political Community (EPC) in the Czech capital has been billed as an opportunity for political cooperation across the bloc.
With her latest comments, the Prime Minister appears to have turned over a new leaf with her French counterpart. The pair have reportedly met on the first day of the summit and said they looked forward to “an ambitious package of measures this autumn” to tackle the issue of migration across the Channel.
During this summer’s leadership election, the then Tory contender Truss refused to to say whether the French President was a “friend or foe”. Instead of giving a clear-cut answer, she said: “The jury’s out.”
Liz Truss told Talk TV’s Julia Hartley-Brewer that the ‘jury is out’ when it comes to Macron (Image: TWITTER/@Talk TV)
The French President said France was a friend of the UK (Image: TWITTER/@FranceInfo)
The UK-French relationship was then at a low point, as both sides were unable to reach an agreement on the Channel migrant crisis.
In response, French President Emmanuel Macron then said: “Listen, it’s never a good thing to lose your bearings in life,” Macron said. “If France and Britain cannot say whether they are friends or enemies… then we are headed for serious problems.”
But Prime Minister Liz Truss adopted a different tone ahead of a meeting with Mr Macron in Prague on Thursday, telling reporters: “I work very, very closely with President Macron and the French government and what we’re talking about is how the UK and France can work more closely together to build more nuclear power stations and to make sure that both countries have energy security in the future.”
The EPC’s summit appears to have brought the two leaders together against Vladimir Putin who has been waging an energy war against Europe since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
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Liz Truss is attending the EPC with leaders from Europe (Image: GETTY)
During their bilateral meeting, the two leaders seem to have made some progress on the issues of energy and migration, both areas Ms Truss had raised as priorities ahead of the summit.
Liz Truss and Emmanuel Macron have agreed to hold a joint summit next year to “take forward a renewed bilateral agenda”, in a further sign of the desire for warmer relations between the two countries.
Though the EPC was launched by a European leader, the Prime Minister has insisted the summit is “not about moving closer to Europe.”
“This is about working with Europe on issues that we both face. [We] both face rising energy costs, that’s why I took the decision to put in place the energy price guarantee so people in Britain weren’t facing bills of up to £6,000.”
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