French confidence in Australia ‘broken’ after leak of Macron text message

On Tuesday, Australian media published messages between Mr Macron and Mr Morrison.

These seem to show that Mr Morrison was trying to establish a conversation with Mr Macron about the submarine contract on 14 September, two days before the agreement with the US and the UK was announced.

According to the reports, Mr Macron responded with a message saying, “Should I expect good or bad news for our common submarine ambitions?” The message with Mr Morrison’s reply was not leaked.

France has said Australia did not try to inform the country of the cancellation until the day Canberra announced its deal with the United States and Britain.

‘An inelegant and curious method of communication’

In response to the leaked message, an Elysée source is reported to have said: “Revealing the text message of an exchange between two heads of state or government is a rather inelegant and curious method.”

“The president of France would never have the idea of ​​revealing this type of communication. And it will hardly improve relations between France and Australia,” the source told the newspaper Le Parisien.

Asked about the leak Monday night, Mr Morrison said people should not be “carried away” with the reports.

Asked once again whether it had been warned in advance of the impending decision to cancel the sub-agreement with France, the Elysée said: “There was only one call on Wednesday (the day the agreement was publicly canceled in favor of Australia’s Aukus) strategic pact with the United States and the United Kingdom).

“The (French) president was in the middle of the cabinet at the time, so he could not respond,” he said.

“We have a hard time believing that the Australian Prime Minister was not aware of this restriction. He knew full well that the President was not available.”


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