Pacific leaders congratulate Anthony Albanese as the French foreign minister delivers the final blow to Scott Morrison

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who lost the federal elections on Saturday “is fine with me.”
Mr. Morrison angered Paris in September by abandoning a multibillion-dollar submarine contract with France in favor of a new deal secretly negotiated with the United States and Britain.

“The defeat of the prime minister suits me perfectly,” said Le Drian.


“The actions taken at the time they were taken were of such brutality and cynicism, and I would even be tempted to say they were unequivocally incompetent,” said Le Drian.
“I hope that in the future we can resume a frank and constructive dialogue with Australia,” he said, in comments to reporters as he handed over his successor Catherine Colonna.
Mr. Le Drian accused Australia of backstabbing and the United States of treason at the time.

Paris has recalled its envoys in both Australia and the United States due to the outcry.

But President Emmanuel Macron then ordered the French ambassador in Washington to return to his post after a phone call with US President Joe Biden.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson congratulated Anthony Albanese for defeating Morrison in Saturday night’s election.

“Congratulations Anthony Albanese on your election as Prime Minister of Australia,” Johnson tweeted.

“I look forward to working with you as we reap the rewards of our global free trade agreement, the AUKUS partnership and the unparalleled closeness between the British and Australian people.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had a close relationship with Mr. Morrison, congratulated Mr. Albanian.

The Solomon Islands congratulated Albanian on his electoral victory, saying “much remains to be done” in bilateral relations, as neighboring Pacific islands Fiji welcomed the party’s climate policies.

Mr. Albanese will be sworn in as 31st Prime Minister on Monday alongside four senior party members, though the vote count continues, before heading to Tokyo to attend a Quad Summit on Tuesday with US President Joe Biden. and the prime ministers of Japan and India.

The recent signing of a security pact with China by the Solomon Islands was a major election issue for outgoing Prime Minister Scott Morrison, with Western allies concerned that it might provide a gateway for a Chinese military presence in the Pacific.


Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is expected to visit the Solomon Islands this week, local media reported, although Reuters could not confirm this with Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare’s office.
In a statement on Sunday, Sogavare said his nation “remains Australia’s faithful friend and development partner.”
The Solomon Islands are grateful for Australia’s financial, medical and security support over the years, he said, adding that “much remains to be done.”
Mr. Sogavare had written to Albanese and “assured him to take the relationship of the Solomon Islands with Australia to another level under the mandate of Albanese”.

Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama congratulated the Albanians in a tweet, writing: “Of the many promises to support the Pacific, none are more welcome than your plan to put climate first.”

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she called Albanese on Sunday and that the two countries would continue to work together “deepening our partnership with our closest friends in the Pacific and pursuing our interests on the world stage.”
“Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand are at their best when we work together,” he said.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau congratulated Mr Albanese and thanked Mr Morrison for Australia’s past relations with his country.
“I thank former Prime Minister Scott Morrison for his invaluable cooperation over the years and wish him all the best in his future endeavors,” said Trudeau.

“As the new Australian government takes shape, I look forward to working with the elected Albanian Prime Minister to deepen relations between our two countries for the benefit of both Canadians and Australians.

“As the Government of Canada continues work to develop a comprehensive new Indo-Pacific strategy, we will continue to strengthen our partnership with Australia while creating economic growth and new opportunities for people on both sides of the Pacific.”
On Monday, Albanian will be sworn in as Australia’s 31st prime minister.