Sat. Jan 22nd, 2022

A recently revealed text message from French President Emmanuel Macron indicated that he knew a multi-billion dollar submarine deal with Australia was on the rocks days before Land Down Under announced a nuclear deal with the US and UK.

That message seemed to call into question the Paris Government’s claims that it had been blinded by the new agreement.

A report by the Australian Financial Review also suggests that Macron played up the rift between the US and its oldest ally to extract a harsh statement of remorse from the US president at last week’s G20 summit in Rome.

AFR reported this week that two days before the deal known as AUKUS was announced to the world on 15 September, Macron sent a message to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison asking: “Should I expect good or bad news for our common submarine ambitions? “

The publication also reported that Macron refused to accept Morrison’s call the following day, informing him that the agreement for France to build Australian diesel electric submarines was dead.

A leaked text message seems to suggest that French President Emmanual Macron may not have been dazzled by the US AUKUS agreement.
A leaked text message seems to suggest that French President Emmanual Macron may not have been dazzled by the US AUKUS agreement.
Photo by LUDOVIC MARIN / AFP via Getty Images

But according to AFR, the French leader could have suspected the move came after Morrison told him in June that the French-built submarines would not fit Australia’s defense needs. In response to that message, Macron Morrison warned: “I do not like to lose.”

Following the joint announcement of the AUKUS agreement, France withdrew its ambassadors to the United States and Australia because of what the country’s foreign minister called the “extraordinary seriousness” of the situation.

The controversy resurfaced late last week when Macron met with President Biden on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Rome.

Macron has reportedly sent a message to Australian Prime Minister Scott to ask about their submarine deal.
Macron has reportedly sent a message to Australian Prime Minister Scott to ask about their submarine deal.
Mass Communications Specialist 3rd Class Naomi Johnson / US Navy via AP, fil

“I think what happened was – to use an English phrase, what we did was ‘clumsy’,” Biden said. “It was not done with much grace. I was under the impression that some things had happened that had not happened.”

When pressured by a journalist to clarify what he meant, Biden said: “I was under the impression that France had been informed long before the agreement did not go through. I honestly did not know that you had not been that.”

The Australian newspaper reported on Monday that Biden’s statement made the Canberra government unclear whether the US president had been fully informed of the agreement by his National Security Council, whether he was simply unaware of the sensitivity of the situation or reprimanded Australia for repairing fences. with France.

Macron, for his part, said he and Biden had “clarified what we needed to clarify” together, adding that it was “important to be sure that such a situation will not be possible for our future.”

President Biden apologized to Macron for how the AUKUS agreement was handled at the G20 summit.
President Biden apologized to Macron for how the AUKUS agreement was handled at the G20 summit.
Polaris

The French leader had harsher words to Morrison and told a journalist “I do not think I know” when asked if the Australian Prime Minister had lied to him about the submarine deal.

Morrison reacted angrily to that claim at the UN climate summit in Glasgow over the weekend.

“The statements that were made that questioned the integrity of Australia and the slander … have been placed on Australia, not me. I have broad shoulders. I can handle that,” he said. “But the incantations I have not going to drive police sleigh in Australia. I do not want to take care of it on behalf of Australians. “

The AFR report has caused outrage in Paris. The recently returned French ambassador to Australia described Morrison’s move on Wednesday as “an unprecedented new low in terms of how to proceed and also in terms of truth and trust.”

“[It] sends a very worrying signal to all heads of state: Beware, in Australia there will be leaks and what you say in confidence to your partners will eventually be used and armed against you, “said Jean-Pierre Thebault in remarks in Australia National Press Club. .

Morrison declined to say whether his office had leaked the message to AFR.

“Allegations were made and allegations were refuted,” the prime minister told reporters in the United Arab Emirates on his way back from Scotland. “Australia made the decision not to proceed with a contract for a submarine that would not do the work Australia needed and I will never apologize for that decision.”

With Post wires

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