French President Emmanuel Macron told new Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese he wanted to focus on the future as they try to rebuild relations badly strained by his predecessor's decision to ditch a submarine contract with Paris, APA reports citing Reuters.
Relations between the two Western allies reached a low last October when Australia cancelled a multi-billion dollar French submarine programme and opted for submarines to be built with U.S. and British technology instead.
Receiving Albanese at the Elysee Palace in Paris, the pair were asked if Australia should apologise.
"He's not responsible for what happened," Macron replied. "We'll speak about the future, not the past."
The decision to scrap the lucrative contract had incensed Paris.
Macron reacted with fury, recalling the French ambassador to Australia, accusing the then-Australian prime minister, conservative Scott Morrison, of lying, while the French foreign minister said Canberra had "stabbed its ally in the back".