Wednesday, December 1

President Emmanuel Macron and Scott Morrison speak after the aftermath of AUKUS

After ignoring Scott Morrison’s pleas for weeks, French President Emmanuel Macron finally accepted the prime minister’s call. That’s what he said.

Scott Morrison and Emmanuel Macron have spoken for the first time since Australia abandoned a major submarine deal with the latest French assembly.

In a reading of the call provided by the Elysee Palace, Macron told Morrison that the decision to scrap the French contract in favor of acquiring nuclear submarines under the AUKUS alliance with the United States and the United Kingdom “broke” trust. between the two nations.

“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,” the statement said. . said.

“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.”

In contrast, a Morrison spokesman said the two world leaders had a “frank conversation” about Canberra-Paris relations.

“The prime minister was glad to be able to speak with President Macron. They had a frank discussion about the bilateral relationship, ”they said.

“The Prime Minister looks forward to future collaborations on our shared interests, particularly in the Indo-Pacific.”

After turning his back on Morrison while the two were in New York last month for the United Nations General Assembly, the prime minister wrote to the French president to request a call. The letter included a handwritten note from Morrison to Macron.

The call is understood to have taken place before the prime minister left Canberra for the G20 and UN climate summit in Rome and Glasgow.

A spokesman for the prime minister confirmed that he used the call to brief Macron on the government’s recent commitment to net zero emissions by 2050.

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

The French reading indicated that Mr Macron encouraged the Prime Minister to take “ambitious measures commensurate with the climate challenge.”

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

The decision to sign the historic security agreement with the United States soured relations between France and Australia, and Paris called its ambassador and threatened to derail a three-year-old free trade agreement with the EU.

Chancellor Marise Payne will meet French Ambassador Jean-Pierre Thébault next week as Australia seeks to thaw the diplomatic ice.

At an estimates hearing Thursday, Sen. Payne said she regretted the “profound disappointment” the announcement caused in France.

“I certainly regret the deep disappointment that France feels,” he said.

“I will meet (Mr Thébault) myself on Monday, that is part of the process to address these concerns.”

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