Fresh from being out in the cold in New York, Kevin Rudd yesterday met with the French President, François Hollande, at the Elysée Palace.
In the official communiqué from the Elysée Palace, the French President notes that he met Mr Rudd who is on a ‘private trip in Europe’ and discussed bilateral relations including the Syrian tragedy and the Australian-French cooperation on south Pacific issues and the importance of preserving the memory of Australian soldiers who died on French soil in World War 1.
The meeting with Hollande raises some questions:
- why did Hollande agree to meet with a – specifically this – former prime minister?
- what was the real purpose of the meeting?
- is Kevin Rudd planning to meet other heads of state and government?
- is this a purely private trip, or is the taxpayer providing funding and other assistance, including via our Embassies?
- how does a French President meeting a defeated prime minister advance bilateral relations – surely it is more likely to harm bilateral relations? Under the Abbott Government, the French President meets a former Labor leader before any Coalition Minister.
- was the Australian Government informed of the visit? If not, why not?
- how will Kevin Rudd cope with Relevance Deprivation Syndrome?
Perhaps this meeting was simply a chance for the French President to meet Kevin Rudd after promising to meet him on the margins at the G-20 meeting in St Petersburg on 5-6 September?
Perhaps Rudd and Hollande are members of the International Association of Far Left Governments?
Perhaps Rudd is seeking support for a United Nations job? (Although it is inconceivable that he could secure a top-level UN job without the support of the Australian Government).