President of Australia, Scott Morrison has dismissed recent petulance by his France compatriot, Emmanuel Macron, stating that he will not be calling the French President following a breakdown in negotiations for a submarine contract that would have seen France gross a whooping £47m, SurgeZirc UK reports.
In a dramatic twist that saw the UK and the US eventually clinch a deal with Australia to supply them nuclear boats as a more realistic option to the submarines, Mr Morrison says he will instead hold a dinner with British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson at the Australian embassy.
The Australian President, who spoke in New York ahead of the United Nations General Assembly, insisted the submarines offered by France could no longer fit Australia’s strategic needs.
“We had made it very clear, I had made it very clear, that a conventional submarine would no longer be meeting our strategic interests and what we needed those boats to do.
“That had been communicated very clearly many months ago, we were working through those issues, so to suggest somehow that this decision could have been taken without causing this disappointment, I think, would be very naïve.
“I can only really quote the Foreign Affairs chief from the European Commission, who says you don’t mix apples and pears.
“I think that’s a pretty good summary of the situation.”
Morrison is billed to spend 24 hours in New York during which he will hold talks with US President, Joe Biden.
He is also expected to participate in the meeting of the Quad nations: Australia, US, Japan and India.
China’s increasing presence in the Indo-Pacific region has been dubbed the crucial factor behind the AUKUS pact between the three Anglophone countries. Pursuant to the agreement, Australia would be equipped with a nuclear-powered submarine.
In 2016, France had agreed, in principle, to build 12 conventional submarines for Australia.
France had shrugged off competition from Japan and Germany to secure the deal and its nullification now seems to brew potential festered relations between both countries.
In what appears to be an immediate statement of intent, France has withdrawn ambassadors from both the US and Australia in the wake of the AUKUS deal.
Jean-Yves Le Drian, French foreign minister said its allies had “stabbed them in the back,” and called for a review of French relations with its international partners.
“We created a relationship of trust with Australia and that trust has been broken,” Le Drian said.
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