Canberra, Paris The submarine dispute between France and Australia is increasing. The French ambassador to Canberra, Jean-Pierre Thébault, spoke on Wednesday about the “unprecedented new low” in relations between the two countries, particularly in terms of truth and trust.
The diplomat at the National Press Club said “the lie was lied to the President of France, Emmanuel Macron,” and the deception was done on purpose. “The way the whole thing was handled was like a stab in the back.”
Australia, the United States and Great Britain announced a new joint security alliance in the Indo-Pacific in mid-September without consulting their allies. In this context, Australia is to be given access to US technology to build and operate nuclear submarines.
A multi-billion dollar submarine deal between France and Australia fell through. Paris reacted furiously, and France’s bilateral relations with the coalition countries were in crisis. Thebault was initially called back to Paris, but has now returned to Australia.
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A few days ago, Macron accused Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison of openly lying. Asked if he thought Morrison lied to him, the French head of state said: “I don’t think so. I know it.”
Morrison had denied the allegations. He always communicated clearly on the subject. New trouble came on Tuesday when Australian media published a leaked text message that Macron had written to Morrison on the subject. “That’s not what you do when it comes to personal exchanges between two top politicians,” Thebault explained.
moreWhat the nuclear-submarine dispute says about Europe’s strategic autonomy. A Comment.
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