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Rishi Sunak and Emmanuel Macron talk about nuclear tech and migration

French president Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday pledged” ambitious cooperation ” in the field of nuclear energy to deal with the consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine for the energy supply.

The two leaders met on the sidelines of climate talks in Egypt, their first meeting since Sunak became prime minister.

According to the French presidential palace, Macron and Sunak also wanted better coordination in the field of migration.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is optimistic about working with France and other European countries to tackle illegal migration. He is confident that an agreement can be reached on this, he said at the climate summit in Egypt after his first meeting with French president Emmanuel Macron.

Sunak became prime minister of the United Kingdom on 25 October. He takes a much more positive tone towards Macron than his predecessors Boris Johnson and Liz Truss. The latter openly wondered if the French president was a friend or an enemy.

Relations between the two countries were further soured as a result. Sunak wants to restore ties and sees the “great” meeting with Macron as an opportunity to reduce, with France and other “European partners”, the record numbers of illegal migrants arriving on British shores.

The talks are already underway. “You will hear more details about that in the coming weeks,” Sunak said. He also wants to tackle other issues together with Paris.

The newly elected head of government is under pressure at home because of the influx of migrants. So far this year, about 40,000 people have crossed the channel in boats. This has led to clogging of the asylum system and significantly higher housing costs, which the British government estimates at around 8 million euros per day.

Mary Johnson

Mary Johnson is a native of Leeds, journalist and PhD candidate at the University of Glasgow. She is mainly interested in foreign affairs, geopolitics and investigative journalism.

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