Australians in need of consular help in parts of Africa will soon be able to appeal to French embassies as part of an historic deal struck in Paris.
Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop announced yesterday she had signed an agreement with the French Government that would allow French consulates and embassies in Francophone Africa to offer emergency consular support to Australians.
In return Australian embassies and missions in the Pacific will offer emergency consular support to French citizens in countries where Paris has no embassies.
Ms Bishop confirmed the agreement in Paris last night after meetings French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.
Ms Bishop told _The West Australian _ the deal could be a great help for Australian mining companies operating in parts of Africa such as the Ivory Coast where France had an embassy but Australia did not.
Ms Bishop has announced a wide review of consular services offered to Australians, warning that travellers are coming to expect too much of foreign missions.