Rishi Sunak, Emmanuel Macron agree to drive climate action forward

London: On the sidelines of the ongoing UN COP27 summit in Egypt, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and French President Emmanuel Macron agreed on the importance of continuing to drive climate action forward.

The meeting on Monday was the first between the two leaders since Sunak took office last month.

According to a statement from the Downing Street, Sunak and Macron also noted opportunities for the UK and France to collaborate further on the transition to clean energy, including on civil nuclear power.

They also spoke about “the ongoing challenge of illegal migration, stressing the urgency of cracking down on criminal smuggling gangs and committed to continue working together with partners to address the issues in the Channel”, the statement said.

The topics of discussion were the ongoing Russian attacks on Ukraine and the continued importance of maintaining military and economic support for the defence of Kiev.

In a tweet after the meeting, the Prime Minister said: “Friends, Partners, Allies… Great to meet with Emmanuel Macron…”

The meeting comes after the the two countries had earlier clashed over several issues, including migrant boat crossings in the Channel; a military pact between Britain, the US and Australia; and Brexit measures involving Northern Ireland.

Controversy also erupted when former Prime Minister Liz Truss, while campaigning for he Conservative leadership race, had said that “jury was still out” on the French President, adding that she would be judging him on “deeds not words”.

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