Sunday, September 26, 2021

French minister snubs Aussie counterpart


French Trade Minister rejects invitation to meet with Australian counterpart over submarines deal

Trade Minister Dan Tehan has unsuccessfully attempted to secure a meeting with Franck Riester.(ABC News: Mark Moore)

Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan has pleaded with his French counterpart to "work through" tensions between the nations, after France's Trade Minister turned down an offer to meet in Paris next month.

Australia's Trade Minister Dan Tehan will be in Paris next month for an Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development meeting, and has extended an invitation to meet his counterpart, Franck Riester.France is still seething after Australia bailed on a $90-billion submarine contract, in favour of a deal with the US and UK to help Australia switch to nuclear-powered boats.

"There's an open invitation for me to sit down with my French counterpart and be able to explain the decision — a decision that was taken in our national interest which was about protecting our sovereignty, our security — and I would be able to sit down and work through that with my counterpart.""My hope is we will be able to sit down and discuss this issue," he said.

But an official from Mr Riester's office said that offer had already been rejected.

"We won't follow up the Australian minister's request for a meeting. We can't go on as if it was business as usual," the French official said.

When asked about the rejection, an optimistic Mr Tehan remained hopeful the pair could sit down and discuss the issue.

"When I saw that report, what I did was I spoke to our ambassador in Paris and just said, 'Please, just extend that invitation — it's an open invitation — I'd be more than willing to sit down and talk to our counterpart and work through this issue,'" he said.

Franck Riester turned down the request to meet with his Australian counterpart.(Reuters: Francisco Seco/pool)

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has also tried without success to speak to President Emmanuel Macron in the wake of the deal.

Paris recalled its ambassadors in Australia and the United States following the submarine announcement.

While it has since said it would send its US ambassador back, after the French and US presidents moved to mend ties in a phone call, it remains furious with Canberra.

Wong says PM's trip 'overshadowed' by diplomatic rift

Shadow Foreign Minister Penny Wong said it was another example of how the federal government had mishandled the deal.

"It is concerning and it demonstrates yet again … the way in which Mr Morrison handled this was to focus on the announcement, not on doing what the country needed him to do, which is to manage that announcement with other partners," she said.

But Senator Wong said the entire trip had been overshadowed by the rift between France and Australia.Mr Morrison is in the United States for a series of high-level diplomatic talks, including the inaugural face-to-face meeting of Quad leaders.

"It's unsurprising Mr Morrison has spent most of this week in damage control over the reaction from the French, who are understandably pretty furious about the way they've been treated," she said.

"Clearly he hasn't done enough when it comes to dealing with an Indo-Pacific partner, and that is France."


  1. Frenchie est gêné et contrarié d'être exclu du Power Play....

    Frenchie is upset at being excluded by USA, UK, Oz from Asia Pacific Power Play....

    Why EU support for France over Aukus has been muted
    European countries still decide policy based on their own national interests rather than any sense of Europeanness.
    By Ido Vock

    ....Beyond the commercial loss of a contract worth AUD90bn to France’s critical defence industry, the pact also raises questions about Paris’s pretensions as an Indo-Pacific power. France’s legacy of empire, uniquely among European countries, includes several territories in the region, such as Réunion and French Polynesia, that are home to some 1.6 million French citizens and encompass an Exclusive Economic Zone of some 9 million square kilometres.

    In the face of China’s expansionist ambitions, France has attempted to reassert its military might in the Indo-Pacific. Some 7,000 troops are deployed in the region. In 2020, for the first time in two decades, France sent a nuclear submarine to the Indo-Pacific as a means of signalling that it was willing and able to protect its interests there.

    That strategy has been dealt a severe blow by the AUKUS deal, which is widely viewed as Canberra giving Washington its vote of confidence over Paris as the ultimate anti-China power in the Indo-Pacific. Despite conciliatory noises from the three signatories, Paris’s anger has not subsided. France has accused the US and Australia of keeping it in the dark over negotiations for the new treaty and in the process marginalising a historic ally.

    That Australia – whose relations with China have drastically worsened since 2016, when the deal with France was signed – should seek to align with the US rather than France is perhaps unsurprising. While the US, under both President Joe Biden and his predecessor Donald Trump, has taken a strongly confrontational stance towards China, Macron’s government has in recent months emphasised that it cannot be expected to automatically align with Washington against Beijing.

    1. Wakakakakaka…

      Another gem piece from a known nothing c&p bored f*ck to speculate while reading it's boringness!

  2. See, Jibby’s Scorpenes purchased from this same Frenchie company, now based in Sabah are useless protecting our maritime security from Bullyland intruders. We must get Five Power Defence team (UK, Oz, NZ, Sin) to act fast.

    But since H2O is going to pay vassal/tributary visit to The Great Hall of The People he can bang table there, and not just suck Yellow Bananas…ha ha ha….l

    P/S ….did Wee KHAT Siong give Cabotage Exemption for this intruder vessel for “inviting itself” to our Malay-sian house?

    China govt vessel in Malaysia's EEZ, nears Petronas-contracted ship off Sabah
    Alyaa Alhadjri & Nigel Aw
    Published: Sep 26, 2021

    A Chinese government ship has entered Malaysia's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and is around 140km away off the coast of Labuan.

    The presence of the Da Yang Hao, owned by Beijing's Natural Resources Ministry, was first highlighted by Vietnamese observer Duan Dang.

    1. again, I have to point out you know nuts about what cabotage is, wakakaka

    2. Wakakakakaka…

      Malaysia's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in a disputed territory!

      Wow… wow…

      Since it's a disputed issue WHAT happened to the opponent's take?

      Ain't that also the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of China?