Emmanuel Macron has thanked Rishi Sunak for his support after the Prime Minister kept a promise and wished France well in the semi-finals of the World Cup following England’s defeat.
Before the game, the French president had asked Mr Sunak if he would support France in the semi-final if his side emerged victorious, posting on Twitter: “If Les Bleus win (they will!), you’ll wish us luck in the semi-final… right?”
In a light-hearted exchange, Mr Sunak replied: “Hopefully I won’t have to. But you’ve got a deal. Look forward to you getting behind the Three Lions in the next round.”
After Harry Kane missed a penalty as France defeated England 2-1, the Prime Minister took to the social media platform again.
“Harry and the team gave it everything but it wasn’t to be,” he tweeted.
“They can hold their heads high tonight. Best of luck to France in the next round.”
Mr Macron responded by thanking Mr Sunak and describing England as “worthy opponents”.
“Well done to the Three Lions who once again proved worthy opponents,” Mr Macron tweeted.
“Thank you for your support, Rishi. We will go all the way! Allez les Bleus!”
The exchange is the latest sign of improved relations between London and Paris, after Mr Sunak’s short-lived predecessor Liz Truss prompted outcry during the Conservative leadership contest by refusing to say whether Mr Macron was a “friend or foe”.
While the pair appeared to patch things up later, with Ms Truss attending a meeting of Mr Macron’s European Political Community summit in Prague and labelling him a “friend”, the remarks did little to ease the post-Brexit tensions between the two countries which have also been fuelled by rows about migrant Channel crossings.
Mr Sunak has pursued a more positive relationship with France and Europe since taking office, recently describing the need to “reinvigorate” the UK’s relationship with the neighbouring continent even as negotiations about the post-Brexit arrangements in Northern Ireland continue.
The Prime Minister met with Mr Macron at the Cop27 climate talks in Egypt at the start of November, with a fresh agreement on tackling small boat crossings coming soon after.