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Rabu, 29 September 2021

Turnbull accuses Morrison of damaging Australia’s national security with submarine deal - ABC News

Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has accused Scott Morrison of damaging Australia's national security interests and treating France with contempt, warning it may take years to repair diplomatic relations.

Mr Turnbull also revealed he has spoken with French President Emmanuel Macron in recent weeks, despite the Prime Minister being unable to secure a phone call.

"This is an appalling episode in Australia’s international affairs and the consequences of it will endure to our disadvantage for a very long time," Mr Turnbull said.

In an address to the National Press Club, the former prime minister accused the Morrison government of deliberately keeping France in the dark over its decision to cancel its $90 billion submarine contract.

Australia will instead procure nuclear-powered submarines in partnership with the US and the UK, although the details on when and how they will be delivered are still to be determined. 

"The Australian government has treated the French Republic with contempt — it won't be forgotten," Mr Turnbull told the Press Club.

Malcolm Turnbull and Emmanuel Macron shake hands at a joint press conference in Sydney.
Malcolm Turnbull says he recently spoke with Emmanuel Macron, who is refusing contact with the Prime Minister.(

AAP: Mick Tsikas

)

"When you conduct yourself in such a deceitful manner internationally, it has a real impact on Australia."

France recalled its ambassador to Australia shortly after the decision to procure nuclear-powered submarines from the US and the UK was announced.

Last week, Mr Morrison acknowledged the French President was not accepting his calls, but said he had acted in accordance with Australia's national security interests at all times.

"That is something that Australia should always do, and I think that all Australians would expect me to do," Mr Morrison said.

"Hard decisions have to be made by prime ministers about our interests."

Mr Turnbull — who was replaced by Scott Morrison as prime minister in 2018 — told the Press Club he would not be accused of being unpatriotic by criticising the way the submarines deal was announced. 

"I can say this to you, I am not getting any lectures on patriotism from Scott Morrison," he said.

"I defended the national security of this country and its national interest, and I know the way that he has behaved is putting that at risk.

"What seems to have been overlooked is that one of our national security assets is trustworthiness."

The Prime Minister’s office declined to comment on Mr Turnbull’s speech.

Mr Turnbull said Australia’s reputation as a “trusted ally and reliable partner” had been developed over many years and was a strategic tool on the world stage.

He referenced his confrontation with Donald Trump in 2017, when the former US president agreed to honour a deal struck by his predecessor to resettle refugees.

"When he suggested I had broken agreements in my business life, I said I had not," Mr Turnbull said.

"Imagine if he had been able to say, ‘hey, how about the time you double-crossed the French?'"

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https://news.google.com/__i/rss/rd/articles/CBMiaWh0dHBzOi8vd3d3LmFiYy5uZXQuYXUvbmV3cy8yMDIxLTA5LTI5L3R1cm5idWxsLWZyZW5jaC1zdWJtYXJpbmUtZGVhbC1kYW1hZ2VkLW5hdGlvbmFsLXNlY3VyaXR5LzEwMDUwMDg2MtIBKGh0dHBzOi8vYW1wLmFiYy5uZXQuYXUvYXJ0aWNsZS8xMDA1MDA4NjI?oc=5

2021-09-29 04:38:09Z
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