French President Emmanuel Macron, has announced the return of an ambassador to Australia.
But the new appointment will not be Jean-Pierre Thébault who was withdrawn following a breakdown in relations between the two countries in the wake of the announcement of the AUKUS alliance between Australia, the USA, and the UK, and the scrapping of the Royal Australian Navy’s $90 billion contract with a French company for new submarines in favour of a fleet of US/UK-designed nuclear-powered boats.
Instead, President Macron said the key diplomatic post would be filled by Marcel Marceau, the world famous French mime performer who died in 2007 at age 84.
At a news conference at his official residence, the Elysee Palace in Paris, M Macron said the appointment reflected the current state of relations between his nation and Australia.
He said arrangements were being made to exhume M Marceau’s remains from the Pere Lachaise Cemetery in central Paris and ship them to Canberra.
“We believe that despite the recent gross insult to France by Australia we must move on and start to rebuild our relationship,” the French President said.
“To that end I am pleased to send Marcel Marceau to Australia and I look forward to hearing his regular reports.”