Australia must ‘redefine’ relations after submarine dispute ‘broke’ trust, says Macron

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French President Emmanuel Macron spoke with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison by phone on Thursday for the first time since the diplomatic crisis over a canceled submarine deal last month, the Elysee Palace said.

Macron reiterated that Canberra’s decision to cancel an agreement for French conventionally-powered submarines in favor of US nuclear vessels “had broken the relationship of trust between our two countries,” his office said in a statement.

“It is now up to the Australian government to propose concrete actions that could embody the will of the Australian authorities to redefine the foundations of our relationship and seek joint action in the Indo-Pacific region,” he said.

Paris was furious after Australia abandoned the deal last month, saying it had received no warning that Australia was negotiating a new defense pact with the United States and Britain.

Australia had signed a contract in 2016 to buy the French submarines, a deal worth A $ 50 billion (€ 31 billion, $ 36.5 billion) when it was signed.

France recalled its ambassadors to Australia and the United States in protest, and Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian denounced “a stab in the back.”

Paris also insists on financial compensation.

“Much attention will now be paid to the situation of French companies and their subcontractors, including Australian companies, affected by this decision,” the Elysee statement said.


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