Home » World » Emmanuel Macron says Australian PM 'lied' over submarine deal

Emmanuel Macron says Australian PM 'lied' over submarine deal

News Agencies | Updated on: 1 November 2021, 9:09 IST

French President Emmanuel Macron has said Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison lied to him over a cancelled submarine deal.

"I have a lot of respect for your country. I have a lot of respect and a lot of friendship for your people. I just say when we have respect, you have to be true and you have to behave in line and consistently with this value," Macron told a group of Australian reporters who had travelled to cover the G20, CNN reported.

Asked if he thought Morrison had lied to him, Macron replied "I don't think, I know."

Both leaders are attending the G20 in Rome and a major climate summit in Glasgow.

In September, Canberra announced that it was scrapping a multi-billion purchase of French conventional submarines in favour of nuclear subs built with US technology.

The deal was announced then by the United States, United Kingdom and Australia on the launch of the trilateral security pact "AUKUS".

"This exceptional decision is justified by the exceptional seriousness of the announcements made on September 15 by Australia and the United States," said Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

Le Drian's indignation reflected the fact that France had its own deal with Australia, concluded in 2016, for conventional, less technologically sophisticated submarines. That USD 66 billion deal is now defunct, but a harsh legal battle over the contract appears inevitable.

The French official slammed "unacceptable behaviour between allies and partners, the consequences of which affect the very conception that we have of our alliances, our partnerships and the importance of the Indo-Pacific for Europe," reported euronews.

Although none of the three governments made any mention of China, the new partnership is widely understood to be an attempt to counter Beijing's assertiveness in the region, Euronews reported.

Furious France has also recalled ambassadors from the US and Australia amid submarine deal outrage.

The deal plans for deeper diplomatic, security, and defence cooperation between the three capitals with enhanced capabilities and interoperability in cyber, artificial intelligence, and quantum technologies.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US President Joe Biden said in a statement that their partnership is "guided by our enduring ideals and shared commitment to the international rules-based order."


Also Read: US condemns Myanmar security forces for 'abhorrent attacks' in Chin state

First published: 1 November 2021, 9:09 IST