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'Unprecedented new low': France flays Australia over leaked Macron text to Morrison France-Australia Submarine Deal
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'Unprecedented new low': France flays Australia over leaked Macron text to Morrison

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 03 Nov 2021, 08:51 pm

Sydney/IBNS: After the leak of French President Emannuel Macron's text message to Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison, France's ambassador to Canberra said the collapse of the submarine deal reached an "unprecedented new low", according to media reports.

Emmanuel Macron had sent a text message to Prime Minister Scott Morrison two days before Australia broke the decade-old multi-billion-dollar contract with France to build a new fleet of submarines, AFP reported.

In a speech at the National Press Club, French ambassador to Australia Jean-Pierre Thebault slammed Australia, saying that the leaking of the private text was an "unprecedented new low", according to AFP.

"You don't behave like this on personal exchanges of leaders who are allies. But maybe it is just confirmation that we were never seen as an ally," he said.

"Doing so also sends a very worrying signal for all heads of state: beware, in Australia, there will be leaks.

"And what you say in confidence to your partners will be eventually used and weaponised against you one day."

In the message, Macron had asked Morrison: "Should I expect good or bad news for our joint submarine ambitions?" the AFP report said.

The news agency said citing reports that the leak could have been engineered by Morrison's office in retaliation for the "lying" charge.

In September, France had called the move "a stab in the back" after Australia suddenly cancelled the submarine deal in order to buy the nuclear-powered submarines from the US as it joined a new defence alliance with Britain and the United States dubbed AUKUS.

Thebault said Canberra's claim that dissatisfaction with the French conventional submarines had been communicated was "fiction" and said Paris could not be expected to interpret "ambiguous attitudes".

"We won't buy on promises of love. Love is good. But proof of love is much better," he said.

Meanwhile, Scott Morrison told reporters in Dubai that it was now time to "move on", in an attempt to draw a line under the lingering episode.

"I don't think there is any further profit for anyone in continuing down this path," he said, according to the report. "Claims were made and claims were refuted, what is needed now is for us to all just get on with it," he added.