Wednesday, December 1

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison for the first time since the submarine deal


French president Emmanuel macron has spoken with the prime minister Scott morrison For the first time since the dismantling of a $ 90 billion submarine deal, he told his Australian counterpart that the decision “broke the relationship of trust” between the nations.

The European leader also urged Australia to adopt “ambitious” emission reduction targets at next week’s global climate conference in Glasgow and to commit to ending coal production and consumption.

“President Macron recalled that Australia’s unilateral decision to curtail the Franco-Australian strategic partnership by ending the ocean-class submarine program in favor of another yet unspecified project broke the relationship of trust between our two countries,” a French reading of a Thursday phone call between the two leaders he said.
French President Emmanuel Macron has spoken with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison for the first time since the diplomatic crisis. (AP Photo / Francois Mori) (AP)

“Maximum attention will be paid to the situation of French companies and their subcontractors, including Australian companies, affected by this decision.

“It is now up to the Australian government to propose tangible actions that embody the political will of Australia’s highest authorities to redefine the foundation of our bilateral relationship and continue joint action in the Indo-Pacific.”

The Prime Minister’s Office said it was happy to speak with its French counterpart in a “frank discussion on the bilateral relationship.”

“The prime minister looks forward to future collaborations on our shared interests, particularly in the Indo-Pacific,” he said in a statement.

“The Prime Minister also took the opportunity to brief the President on Australia’s commitment to net zero emissions by 2050.”

Australia’s decision to scrap the major French deal in favor of future purchase of nuclear submarines available through a three-way alliance with the United States and the United Kingdom sparked a furor in Paris and among its European allies.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is heading to Rome for the G20 and then to Glasgow for COP26. (Supplied)

French officials called the decision, broadcast just hours before the global announcement of the AUKUS pact, a “stab in the back” and Macron immediately called his ambassadors in the United States and Australia.

Morrison, having negotiated a net-zero deal by 2050 with the Nationals, is expected to come under pressure in Glasgow from the leaders of the US, UK and Europe to improve Australia’s 2030 targets.

As part of the Paris Agreement, all countries were expected to increase their targets, the “nationally determined contribution” before COP26, but Australia maintained the same relatively unambitious target of a 26-28 percent reduction over the base of 2005 levels.

That’s just over half of what the United States is promising and well below the United Kingdom and the European Union.

The Elysee said Macron encouraged Morrison to take “ambitious measures commensurate with the climate challenge.”

“In particular, increased nationally determined contribution, commitment to cease coal production and consumption domestically and abroad, and increased Australian support for the International Solar Alliance,” he said.


www.9news.com.au

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