Payne repairs barriers with French Ambassador | Bega District News

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Foreign Minister Marise Payne met French Ambassador Jean-Pierre Thébault amid tensions between the two countries. Senator Payne said the couple had had a constructive discussion about how the relationship was going and the meeting was “another important step in this process.” The hour-long meeting in Sydney on Monday came hours after French President Emmanuel Macron accused Scott Morrison of lying about the cancellation of the $ 90 billion submarine deal. Mr Macron told Australian journalists on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Rome “I don’t think so, I know,” the Australian prime minister lied to him. Australia had broken the trust that underlies the partnership and the ball was in Canberra’s court to come up with “tangible actions” to heal the fractured relationship, he told reporters. Mr Morrison has denied lying to the French president. Labor spokeswoman for foreign affairs Penny Wong said it was good that Ms Payne spoke with the French ambassador, but that the meeting was “undermined and damaged by what the Prime Minister did and how he coped with it “. “It is unprecedented to see a world leader say so frankly that we are led by a man whose work he does not trust,” Senator Wong told the CBA. “The problem is that his dishonesty is now harming Australia’s national interest.” Mr Thebault will speak to the National Press Club on Wednesday, seven weeks after Australia announced it was canceling its 2016 contract to acquire conventional attack-class submarines from French company Naval Group . Mr Thebault was recalled to France following news that Australia was tearing up the contract for nuclear-powered submarines purchased as part of a new alliance with the United States and Britain. The French ambassador was allowed out of his two-week quarantine this weekend after returning to the country in mid-October. Associated Australian Press

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