Leaked SMS sharpens Australia-France sub row

France on Tuesday accused Australia of using “very inelegant methods” after a text message sent by President Emmanuel Macron to Australian leader Scott Morrison was leaked in an apparent attempt to hint that he knew about the collapse of a major submarine deal. before what he holds.

The media in Australia and Europe reported on the SMS that the French leader sent to Mr Morrison two days before Australia announced that it had broken a multimillion-dollar, decade-long contract with France to build a new fleet of submarines.

France, which reacted furiously to the cancellation, has always said the announcement took it by surprise, and Macron joined the furor over the weekend by accusing Morrison of lying to him.

But the revelation of the text message on Tuesday can be considered to suggest that Macron was less surprised by the cancellation than he admitted.

“Should I expect good news or bad news for our joint submarine ambitions?” Reads the SMS sent to Mr. Morrison 48 hours before the official announcement of the cancellation of the contract that was made at a press conference.

A source close to Mr Macron, who asked not to be named, said the leak was evidence of “very inelegant methods.”

Backing previous assurances that Macron had not been given advance warning of the cancellation, the source said the SMS did not undermine that narrative.

“On the contrary, this SMS shows that the president did not know that they were going to cancel the contract,” said the source.


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