Scott Morrison congratulates Emmanuel Macron on his election victory months after the French president called him a liar in fury over nuclear subs snub
- Emmanuel Macron has won a second five-year term as French President
- Scott Morrison posted a congratulations message to him on Twitter
- It comes after a huge falling out over end of a $90billion submarine contract
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has congratulated Emmanuel Macron on his re-election as French President.
Mr Macron secured a second five-year term last night after he defeated far-right candidate Marine Le Pen with 58 per cent of the vote.
Mr Morrison, who was in Darwin for Anzac Day, wrote on Twitter: ‘Congratulations Emmanuel Macron on your re-election as president. A great expression of liberal democracy in action in uncertain times.
‘We wish you and France every success, in particular your leadership in Europe and as an important partner to Australia in the Indo-Pacific.’
Prime Minister Scott Morrison (pictured on Monday) has congratulated Emmanuel Macron on his re-election as French President
French President Emmanuel Macron celebrates his re-election with his wife Brigitte Macron at the Champ de Mars near the Eiffel Tower
Diplomatic relations between the two nations have been tense following Australia’s decision to scrap a multi-billion dollar submarine contract with France in favour of nuclear-powered vessels within the AUKUS security pact.
At last year’s G20 summit, Mr Macron accused Australia’s prime minister of lying to him about the terms of the submarine deal.
Asked by journalists at the G20 summit in Rome if Mr Morrison lied to him before tearing up a $90billion submarine contract, President Macron replied: ‘I don’t think, I know.’
Mr Morrison denied lying to Mr Macron and insisted the French knew Australia’s deal to buy 12 submarines was on the rocks before it was torn up in September in favour of a nuclear submarine partnership with the US and UK.
He leaked a text from President Macron which showed the French leader suspected Australia would torpedo the deal.
A secret leaked text message (pictured) appears to show that Emmanuel Macron was given warning that Australia would torpedo its $90billion submarine deal with France
President Macron’s public display of anger was highly unusual and reflected the fury in Paris at the cancellation of what the French press called ‘the contract of the century’ which would have provided enormous economic benefit.
Australian Defence Minister Peter Dutton claimed President Macron’s anger was a bid to win French voters but French affairs expert Professor Peter McPhee of Melbourne University said he was furious because France’s strategic interests have been set back.
In May 2018, President Macron announced an Indo-Pacific strategy for the first time, outlining France’s priorities for the region – where it has territories New Caledonia and French Polynesia – such as boosting defence and security, increasing economic growth and upholding the rule of law amid China’s growing assertiveness.
Promoting co-operation between ‘like-minded partners’ was a key plank of the strategy and the submarine contract with Australia was part of this wider aim.
Labor deputy leader Richard Marles also congratulated Mr Macron following his election victory.
‘France is our neighbour, France is a Pacific country, and as such, France matters deeply to Australia,’ he told reporters in Darwin.
‘It is a profoundly important relationship in Australia’s world view, and we certainly look forward to working with President Macron as he leads France over the coming years.’
epa09907557 Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison lays a wreath at the Anzac Dawn Service at the Darwin Cenotaph