French President Emmanuel Macron and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Photograph:( WION Web Team )
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison lied to President Emmanuel Macron over the cancellation of a submarine deal in September, said the French leader. The president indicated more needs to be done to rebuild trust between the nations
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison lied to President Emmanuel Macron over the cancellation of a submarine building contract in September, said the French leader.
The president also indicated more needs to be done to rebuild trust between the nations.
In Rome for the G20 summit, Macron and Morrison met for the first time since Australia scrapped a submarine deal with France while announcing a new security alliance with the United States and the UK in September.
Dubbed as AUKUS, the new security alliance looks to give Australia access to nuclear-powered submarines. This announcement caught France off guard and saw the ambassadors of the country recalled from Washington and Canberra as the leaders of the country made accusations of betrayal.
"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," the French president told a group of Australian reporters, who travelled to cover the G20.
Asked if he thought Australian PM lied to him, the president replied, "I don't think, I know."
At a media conference on Sunday in Rome, Morrison later said, he had not lied and that he had previously explained to president that conventional submarines would no longer meet Australia's needs.
"I was very clear that what was going to be provided to us was not going to meet our strategic interests, and there was still a process we were engaged in, and we then engaged in, over the months that followed. And then we communicated to him (Macron) our ultimate decision," Morrison added.
(With inputs from agencies)