Macron: I Know Aussie PM Lied To Me About Sub Deal

The BBC reports:

French President Emmanuel Macron has said Australia’s PM Scott Morrison lied to him about a scrapped submarine deal. Asked whether he thinks Mr Morrison was untruthful, the president replied: “I don’t think, I know.”

Mr Macron was furious after Australia cancelled a $37bn (£27bn) deal to build 12 submarines, and instead negotiated a new defence pact with the US and the UK – the so-called Aukus.

Mr Morrison denies that he was dishonest. The pair met at the G20 summit in Rome for the first time since the row erupted in September.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports:

Morrison swiftly denied he had lied and said he had explained to Macron over dinner at the Elysee Palace in Paris in June that the submarines to be supplied by French company Naval Group were not going to meet Australian needs.

“I was very clear that the conventional submarines were not going to be able to meet our strategic interests and we were going to have to make a decision in our national interest,” Morrison said.

Some Australian officials familiar with the June dinner conversation said Macron at one point told Morrison “I don’t like losing” — a comment the Australians interpreted as a sign the French knew then that they were at serious risk of losing the submarine deal.