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Australian leader attacks Macron’s credibility

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Tuesday attacked the credibility of French President Emmanuel Macron, suggesting that Macron had anticipated “bad news” regarding a submarine deal that has strained relations between the two countries.

Morrison told local newspapers that he told Macron over dinner in June that French submarines would not meet Australia’s needs. He also said that two days prior to releasing the news that Australia was making a deal for submarines with the U.S. and the Untied Kingdom, he reached out to Macron in a text message, but the French leader replied that he was unable to take a call, The Associated Press reported.

“Should I expect good or bad news for our joint submarines ambitions?” Macron reportedly asked at the time.

A reporter asked Morrison on Tuesday why he decided to divulge details of the text messages shortly after Macron criticized him, but the Australian leader batted away the question, according to AP.

“I’m not going to indulge your editorial on it, but what I’ll simply say is this: We were contacted when we were trying to set up the … call and he made it pretty clear that he was concerned that this would be a phone call that could result in the decision of Australia not to proceed with the contract,” Morrison said.

Morrison’s comments come as an Australian newspaper attempted to cast doubt on an explanation that President Biden gave last week. Biden said that he believed Macron was informed of the deal between the U.S. and Australia long before it was announced in September.

Earlier this week, Macron claimed that Morrison lied about the nature of the deal.

“I have a lot of respect for your country. I have a lot of respect and a lot of friendship for your people. I just say when we have respect … you have to behave in line and consistently with this value,” Macron told reporters. 

Tags Australia Emmanuel Macron Emmanuel Macron France Joe Biden submarine deal

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File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

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In this photo released by the Governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev telegram channel, a rescuer gestures as he helps people during an evacuation after storm and flooding in Sevastopol, Crimea, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023. A storm in the Black Sea took down power grids and left almost half a million people without power after it flooded roads, ripped up trees and damaged buildings in Crimea, Russian state news agency Tass said. (Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev's telegram channel via AP)

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