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France's Macron starts trip to Australia focusing on defense

French President Emmanuel Macron, top left, walks down the stairs with France's Ambassador to Australia, Christophe Penot, as he arrives in Sydney, Tu...
French President Emmanuel Macron, right, shakes hands with Australian Minister for Defense Industry, Christopher Pyne, as he arrives in Sydney, Tuesda...
French President Emmanuel Macron, left, walks down the stairs with France's Ambassador to Australia Christophe Penot, as he arrives in Sydney, Tuesday...

French President Emmanuel Macron, top left, walks down the stairs with France's Ambassador to Australia, Christophe Penot, as he arrives in Sydney, Tu...

French President Emmanuel Macron, right, shakes hands with Australian Minister for Defense Industry, Christopher Pyne, as he arrives in Sydney, Tuesda...

French President Emmanuel Macron, left, walks down the stairs with France's Ambassador to Australia Christophe Penot, as he arrives in Sydney, Tuesday...

PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron has arrived in Australia for a three-day visit set to seek closer cooperation between the two countries on security issues.

Macron's trip will have a strong focus on defense, since Naval Group (former DCNS), a French state majority-owned company, won a 2016 bid to build submarines for the Australian navy in a deal worth 50 billion Australian dollars ($37 billion).

The president's office said France considers Australia a key partner in ensuring maritime security in the Indian and Pacific Oceans and counter China's expanding power.

The visit will also focus on climate-related issues.

Macron, who is just back from a state visit to Washington, will be welcomed by Australia's Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and his wife with a dinner at Sydney Opera House.