The head of the Australian government explained that he tried to reach Emmanuel Macron by phone, in vain. The statesman assured that he understood the disappointment of French diplomacy regarding the breach of the contract of the submarines.
“Australia has decided not to follow through on a very important defense contract. And we know that France is disappointed with this decision, which is understandable […] I think it will take longer to resolve these issues than those that have been resolved between the United States and France ”, declared on the evening of September 22, from Washington, the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, affirming moreover, having tried to reach Emmanuel Macron for the submarine affair but that the interview had “not yet” taken place.
But we will be patient. We understand their disappointment
“But we will be patient. We understand their disappointment, ”he said, a week after Australia unannounced the contract for the purchase of twelve French submarines with conventional propulsion for a value of A $ 90 billion, or 55 billion euros.
At the same time as this breach of contract, Australia had announced the acquisition of at least eight American or British nuclear-powered submarines, after months of secret negotiations, which had angered Paris.
In retaliation, France had canceled a gala evening in Washington supposed to celebrate Franco-American relations, and had recalled its ambassadors in Washington and Canberra, accusing the two countries of having struck him “in the back”.
While the US and French presidents tried to ease tensions in a 30-minute phone interview, described as friendly by Joe Biden, nothing of the sort was done with Morrison. France is planning a return of its ambassador to Washington next week, but has given no date for a similar move in Canberra.