- Sputnik International, 1920, 21.09.2021
On 15 September, the US, UK, and Australia announced the new trilateral AUKUS defence partnership. While the partners said it's designed to protect and defend "our shared interests in the Indo-Pacific", some experts believe the true purpose of the partnership is to counter China.

Paris-Canberra Submarine Deal Row: Prime Minister Morrison Says He Won't 'Сop Sledging of Australia'

© AP Photo / Lukas CochAustralian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks to the media during a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Friday, May 1, 2020
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks to the media during a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Friday, May 1, 2020 - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.11.2021
In September, the US, the UK, and Australia declared the formation of AUKUS as a platform for defence and security cooperation. The pact entailed Australia's exit from a hefty contract with France to construct 12 submarines, in what was slammed by Paris as "a stab in the back".
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has retaliated against French President Emmanuel Macron by making it clear that he will not accept Paris' bashing of Australia over the two sides' hefty submarine deal, which was scrapped following the creation of a new pact between Canberra, London, and Washington.

"I've got broad shoulders, I can deal with that [the accusations]. But those slurs - I'm not going to cop sledging of Australia. I'm not going to cop that on behalf of other Australians", Morrison told reporters at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

He also said that Canberra was in the process of repairing its relationship with France, adding, "we've spoken several times over the last couple of days. I'm sure we'll speak a bit more before I head back to Australia", in an apparent nod to French President Emmanuel Macron.
"We have much to do and we're always keen and would welcome the involvement of our ongoing partnership with France", the Australian prime minister noted.
He spoke after Macron accused Morrison of lying to him about about his intentions to renege on the Paris-Canberra submarine deal in favour of US and UK nuclear-propulsion technology, part of the new trilateral AUKUS pact. Morrison insists that he didn't lie.

"I don't think, I know", Macron said on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Rome when asked if he thought the Australian prime minister lied to him on the submarine agreement.

At the same time, he stressed that he had "a lot of respect and a lot of friendship" for Australian people, adding: "I just say when we have respect, you have to be true and you have to behave in line and consistently with this value".
Morrison, for his part, claimed that he told Macron in June that the French-supplied submarines wouldn't meet Australia‘s 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", the Australian prime minister asserted.


In mid-September, the US, the UK, and Australia announced the creation of the AUKUS alliance as a platform to develop mutual defence and security cooperation.
The announcement came as Canberra unilaterally withdrew from a $66 billion agreement with France's Naval Group on the delivery of 12 diesel submarines to Australia in favour of the supply of nuclear-powered vessels to the country within the framework of the AUKUS alliance.
Chinese and U.S. flags flutter outside a company building in Shanghai, China April 14, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.10.2021
AUKUS: Will Australia's Fault Lines With ASEAN Limit US' Ambitions to Contain China in Indo-Pacific?
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Drian was quick to call the cancellation of the Australian-French submarine contract a "stab in the back" and a "unilateral, brutal, unpredictable" action.
Paris withdrew its ambassadors from Washington and Canberra following the AUKUS announcement, in a move that was, however, followed by France agreeing to return its US Ambassador Philippe Etienne to Washington in early October.
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