DrHe broke the submarine deal between France and Australia still hurts the mind. After French President Emmanuel Macron accused Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison of lying when asked by a reporter, the latter bluntly dismissed “insults” against Australia. He has broad shoulders to accept criticism, Morrison said during a press conference during the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow. “But these slanders … I will not tolerate Australia,” Morrison said.
In his statement on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Rome, Macron had openly excluded his country and directed his criticism directly to Morrison. “I have a lot of respect for their country, I have a lot of respect and friendship for their people,” Macron, according to video recordings, told reporters from Australia. “But I must say that if you both respect each other, you have to be honest and act in a manner consistent with that value.” In response to this statement, the journalist asked Macron if he thought he had been lied by Morrison. The president replied, “I don’t think so, I know.”
‘We didn’t steal an island’
The clip lasts for a little over half a minute. In the Australian capital, Canberra, it’s still causing a stir. Some political allies sided with Morrison. Treasury Secretary Josh Frydenberg criticized Macron’s “extraordinary language choice”. Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, who is heading the government in Morrison’s absence, recommended Macron finally get over the broken submarine deal. “We didn’t steal an island, we didn’t deface the Eiffel Tower, it was a contract,” said Joyce. This is in line with the opinion of some Australians, for whom the anger of the French seems excessive.
In September, Paris reacted with fury to the failed arms deal and the new AUKUS agreement between America, Australia and Great Britain, and even withdrew its ambassadors from Canberra and Washington. Macron and US President Joe Biden spoke by phone relatively early at the time and allowed the French ambassador to return to Washington. France’s anger at Australia is deepening. French Ambassador Jean-Pierre Thibault did not return to Canberra until mid-October. Morrison and Macron spoke by phone just last week. In the phone call from Australia, the French side called for “concrete measures” to “redefine” relations.
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