PM says Macron missed a phone call from him the night before AUKUS announcement
The Prime Minister says he never spoke to the French President before announcing he was scrapping a submarine deal the two nations had planned.
Scott Morrison said on Friday he tried to phone Emmanuel Macron to tell him about his decision the night before the news was announced publicly.
But the call went unanswered, and Scott Morrison instead opted for a “message” to Mr Macron, he told reporters in Washington.
Mr Morrison was responding to a question from a journalist asking when he called Mr Macron.
The Prime Minister has previously said he contacted Mr Macron the night before the AUKUS submarine deal was announced.
The partnership with the UK and US caused a deep diplomatic rift with the French because it meant Australia would cancel a deal with that nation that was already in the works.
“What I said was, is that I made direct contact with him,” Mr Morrison said on Friday.
“It was about 8.35. We had sought to have a call that night. We'd been seeking that for some time.
“He did not take that call, to seek for it to be arranged, and so I directly messaged him Australia’s decision in a, in a personal correspondence.”
France has recalled its ambassador from Canberra over the snub, and Mr Morrison has previously admitted Mr Macron would not accept his phone calls since the September 16 announcement.
Originally published as PM says Macron missed a phone call from him the night before AUKUS announcement
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