Tony Abbott says Australia's Ambassador to France will always be a 'friend'

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Prime minister Tony Abbott has described Australia’s Ambassador to France, Stephen Brady, as a “friend” after it was revealed there was an incident surrounding his arrival in Paris on Anzac Day.

Speaking to reporters today, Abbott denied having any problems with Brady or his position as an ambassador for Australia.

“I appointed him,” Abbott said.

“I have known him for many years. He’s a friend of mine. Always has been, always will be.

“He’s a fine servant of Australia.”

Abbott described Brady as a distinguished public servant.

Fairfax Media reports Brady was scheduled to meet the PM’s incoming plane at a small airport around 7pm Paris time.

He was joined by his long-time partner, Peter Stephens.

However, Abbott’s travelling party instructed Stephens to wait in the car and avoid taking part in the greeting. Brady ignored this request.

When questioned by reporters about the incident, Abbott said there was an issue at the level of junior officials.

“I’m the prime minister and I don’t normally concern myself with trivia,” Abbott said.

Following the incident, Brady offered his resignation to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, however, it’s understood this was rejected.

Brady and Stephens are an openly gay couple.

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