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Australia will pay 550 million euros ($579 million) compensation to

Naval Group SA as Prime Minister Anthony Albanese seeks to reset relations with France that soured over a canceled submarine-purchase agreement.

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Now we can move forward with our relationship with France, Albanese said in a press conference on Saturday. This draws a line under this issue, he said, adding that hes had cordial discussions with French President Emmanuel Macron and accepted an invitation to visit him in Paris.

France and Australia will look to the future and rebuild cooperation on a new basis, French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu said in a

tweet. 

For its part, state-controlled Naval Group confirmed in a statement the signing of a fair agreement with Australia to end the submarine program. 

France was blindsided when Albaneses predecessor Scott Morrison scrapped the deal last year and revealed hed been in secret talks with the US and UK for a security partnership to acquire nuclear-powered submarines. The move was a

personal blow for Macron and qualified by the government as a stab in the back.

Australias newly elected Labor government is sticking with the so-called AUKUS partnership, which has been slammed by China for fueling an arms race in the region.

The failed deal with France has cost Australia A$3.4 billion ($2.4 billion), Albanese said. He declined to comment on whether Australia could potentially purchase some nuclear submarines from the US as an interim measure before any vessels are built under the AUKUS pact.

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Under this agreement, Australia is planning to build and begin operating a fleet of nuclear submarines in the coming decades with US and UK assistance. No decision has been conveyed yet on whether Australia will use a UK or US design for the fleet.

Albanese said he had yet to set a date for his trip to France.

(Adds comments from French defense minister and Naval Group from third paragraph.)