Macron on Sub Deal Drama: Australia Lied

French president says Australia PM was not truthful
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 1, 2021 1:20 AM CDT
Macron on Sub Deal Drama: Australia Lied
French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a media conference at the G20 summit in Rome, Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021.   (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)

French President Emmanuel Macron spoke out this weekend on the submarine deal brouhaha between France and Australia. Asked by an Australian reporter on the sidelines of the G20 summit whether he thought Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison was untruthful with France, Macron replied, "I don't think, I know." Asked whether he could trust Morrison again, he said, "We will see what he will deliver," the BBC reports. France and Australia had a $66 billion deal for Australia to buy conventional submarines from France, which Australia canceled after the AUKUS defense pact between the US, the UK, and Australia was announced last month. (The deal will give Australia its first nuclear-powered submarines.)

France canceled a US gala over the issue, and recalled its ambassadors to the US and Australia (though it eventually did a 180 on the US). Earlier at the G20, President Biden met with Macron for the first time since the snafu, and Biden admitted the situation was not handled well. As for Australia, "I have a lot of respect for your country. I have a lot of respect and a lot of friendship for your people," Macron told the journalist. "I just say when we have respect, you have to be true and you have to behave in line and consistently with this value." Morrison, speaking after Macron, denied lying, and said he had explained to Macron earlier this year that conventional submarines were no longer enough to meet Australia's strategic interests, the Guardian reports. (More AUKUS stories.)

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