Sydney (Australia), September 23 (EFE). Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has admitted he tried unsuccessfully to speak with French President Emmanuel Macron after the crisis sparked last week by Canberra’s cancellation of a submarine construction contract awarded to a French company.
Morrison, who is on an official tour of the United States, told reporters in Washington on Wednesday (Thursday in Australia) that while his government tried to reach out to Macron, “it was not given the opportunity for that call.”
“We will be patient. We understand your disappointment and this is the way to deal with difficult issues,” Morrison said, referring to the collapse of this huge contract following the announcement of a defense pact between Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom. , which includes the development of American nuclear submarines in the oceanic nation.
The decision caused great alarm in France, which considers it a “betrayal” and caused a diplomatic crisis, with its ambassadors in the United States and Australia calling for consultations, although relations between Paris and Washington were directed after Wednesday’s conversation. Between US President Joe Biden and Macron.
In that phone conversation, Biden “confessed” he could have consulted more with France before signing the agreement with Australia and the United Kingdom, called AUKUS (the member states’ English initials), White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. I apologize to the French president.
For Morrison, this reconciliation occurs because the United States and France are part of NATO “and there are certain expectations among NATO partners regarding how they relate to each other on matters of national security” while Australia does not. this organization.
When asked if he would apologize to Macron, Morrison confined himself to insisting he acted “in the interest of Australian national security”, and reiterated that his country would comply with obligations “emanating from those decisions” to cancel the construction. Of the 12 conventional submarines awarded to the French Naval Group.
For France, the AUKUS agreement, which is excluded from it, represents an industrial and geostrategic setback, because it marginalizes it in an area that has a territorial presence and sovereignty over a vast maritime area thanks to its possession of many archipelagos and islands, among them Polynesia and New Caledonia.
Beyond its political consequences, the French government also pledges to be “ruthless” with Australia in negotiating a breach of contract, which, according to the French Ministry of Defense, will cost Canberra about 900 million euros in payments to the Maritime Studies Group. Qualifiers before the start of the program.
(c) EFE . Agency
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