Scott Morrison not planning to discuss submarine deal with French President Emmanuel Macron while at United Nations General Assembly

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has defended Australia’s decision to scrap a $90 billion submarine contract with France, and says he has no plans to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

Mr Morrison has flown to the United States for a week of high-stakes diplomacy amid the row with France, which is angry Australia has chosen to buy nuclear-powered submarines in a partnership with the US and UK instead.

Speaking on the tarmac of John F Kennedy Airport in New York, Mr Morrison said it would be naïve to think France would not be disappointed with the decision, but he had to make it in Australia’s national interest.

When asked if he was seeking to meet with Mr Macron, he said now was not the right time, even though US President Joe Biden had asked for a phone call to smooth over relations.

“It was not possible for us to be able to discuss such secure issues in relation to our dealing with other countries at that time,” Mr Morrison said.

“We had made it very clear, I had made it very clear, that a conventional submarine would no longer be meeting our strategic interests and what we needed those boats to do.

“That had been communicated very clearly many months ago, we were working through those issues, so to suggest somehow that this decision could have been taken without causing this disappointment, I think, would be very naïve.”

When asked if he thought the decision would put the EU’s Free Trade Agreement with Australia at risk, Mr Morrison deflected.

“I can only really quote the Foreign Affairs chief from the European Commission, who says you don’t mix apples and pears. I think that’s a pretty good summary of the situation,” he said.

Mr Morrison will spend 24 hours in New York, on the sidelines of the 76th UNGA, where he will talk to representatives of several countries and hold a one-on-one with Mr Biden.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Special Envoy for Climate John Kerry and Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne will also join the meeting.

The submarine deal — which involves leveraging US technology to a build a fleet of nuclear-powered vessels — is expected to be discussed alongside China’s rise, the next steps on countering global terrorism and climate change.

Mr Morrison will also meet with European leaders on Tuesday to discuss rising security threats in the Indo-Pacific. He will meet with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Washington DC in the evening.

Mr Biden will deliver his address to the UNGA with a heavy focus on strengthening US alliances, especially now the country has withdrawn from Afghanistan.

While Mr Morrison’s address will be aired on Friday, the main purpose of his trip is the meeting of Quad nations which includes the US, Japan, India and Australia, in Washington on Friday.

The White House is positioning the power bloc of democracies as critical for pandemic and climate cooperation, as well as its counter force against China.

The nuclear submarine deal — signed between Australia, the UK and the US under a trilateral security pact — will heavily feature in discussions over the next week.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian labelled the move a “stab in the back” and Mr Macron responded by withdrawing France’s ambassadors to Canberra and Washington.

The foray into nuclear-powered vessels has also sent shudders through allies in Asia, concerned it will stoke tensions in the region, in particular with Beijing, which reacted angrily to the news.

Mr Morrison phoned Indonesian President Joko Widodo mid-flight over the Pacific to explain the decision and stressed the vessels would not be armed with nuclear weapons.

The PM told Mr Widodo that Australia would maintain its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

What else is on General Assembly’s docket?

The UNGA is expected to discuss ways to tackle COVID-19, the chaotic Western withdrawal from Afghanistan, tensions with Iran and North Korea, as well as growing rivalry between the US and China.

It is also seen as the last opportunity to lock in global commitments before November’s UN Global Climate Summit in Glasgow.

Mr Morrison is expected face pressure to bolster his plan to cut emissions, with his target significantly lagging behind that made by other global leaders, including the US and the UK.

Australia’s medium-term target is a 26-28 per cent cut on 2005 emissions levels by 2030, well below the Biden Administration’s pledge to halve emissions within that timeframe, while the UK is aiming to reduce numbers by 68 per cent.

Senior figures in the Biden Administration have publicly criticised Australia’s lack of ambition on climate action in recent months.

In February, Mr Kerry acknowledged “differences” between the US and Australia in tackling climate change while calling for a faster exit from coal-fired power.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related


How two college friends got Serena Williams and Usain Bolt to back their business

Alex Rose and Sam Browne were quick off the mark to attract investment from tennis star Serena Williams and Olympic champion Usain Bolt for their sports booking platform Let’s Do ... Read more »

Toyota to invest $3.4 billion on U.S. automotive batteries through 2030

© Reuters/Aly Song FILE PHOTO: The Toyota logo is seen at a booth during a media day for the Auto Shanghai show By David Shepardson WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Toyota Motor ... Read more »

The 'unfair' reason the Queen has to give up her favourite drink

Photo credit: Max Mumby/Indigo – Getty Images After nearly 70 very busy years on the throne, it's understandable that the Queen likes to enjoy an alcoholic beverage at the end ... Read more »

Stacey Abrams campaigns for McAuliffe in churches: 'Voting is an act of faith'

Democrat Stacey Abrams campaigned for Democratic Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe at Black churches in Norfolk, Va., on Sunday. Abrams narrowly lost the Georgia gubernatorial election in 2018 and has ... Read more »

Stellantis' Maserati delays launch of Grecale SUV due to chip shortage

Bangkok International Motor Show MILAN (Reuters) – Stellantis' luxury brand Maserati said on Monday the launch of its new SUV Grecale would be delayed to the spring of next year ... Read more »

Online trolls could be stripped of their anonymity under plans to tackle abuse of MPs

Priti Patel appeared on The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday – Jeff Overs Online trolls could be stripped of their anonymity in order to tackle the growing torrent of abuse ... Read more »

The Duchess of Cambridge-inspired knitwear essential to buy this autumn

The one knitwear item we want this autumn, inspired by the Duchess of Cambridge. (Getty Images) Yahoo Life's editors are committed to independently selecting wonderful products at great prices for ... Read more »

Richard Madeley upsets GMB viewers with comment on Duchess of Cambridge's figure

In a segment about the Earthshot Prize Awards the presenter commented about the Duchess’ “tiny, tiny waist”. Read more »

Hanya lapan keluarga miskin tegar di Putrajaya?

© Provided by Sinar Harian SHAH ALAM – Pangkalan data Prihatin e-Kasih yang digunakan oleh kerajaan bagi mengenal pasti golongan miskin dan miskin tegar di dalam negara dilihat tidak memberikan ... Read more »

Wujud ejen risik awam salur maklumat salah laku pencemaran

© Provided by Sinar Harian SHAH ALAM – Pihak berkuasa dicadangkan supaya mewujudkan ejen perisikan awam untuk menyalurkan maklumat mengenai perlakuan tidak bertanggungjawab yang mencemarkan kawasan awam dan pusat peranginan ... Read more »

BORO unguli pentas pertama MLM 2021

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Kumpulan BORO terdiri daripada Achey, Fad dan Atu berjaya menjuarai carta menerusi persembahan mereka yang begitu bersahaja. (Gambar Astro) Pentas ‘Maharaja Lawak Mega 2021’ ... Read more »

Malaysia mahu kerjasama UAE bidang teknologi hijau, pengurusan wakaf

© Provided by Sinar Harian SHAH ALAM – Malaysia mahu menjalinkan kerjasama dan kolaboratif dengan Emiriah Arab Bersatu (UAE) dalam bidang teknologi hijau, ekonomi dan kewangan termasuk pengurusan wakaf. Menteri ... Read more »

China denies it tested rare hypersonic missile

© Getty Images China showed a hypersonic missile platform at a recent military parade China has denied reports that it tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile earlier this year, insisting instead ... Read more »

Iran to host multilateral conference on Afghanistan on October 27

© Provided by Al Jazeera Iran’s official position is that it wants an inclusive government and stability in Afghanistan [File: Atta Kenare/AFP] Tehran, Iran – Tehran will host a meeting ... Read more »

Energy-stricken SA weighs need to reduce emissions and keep lights on

© Eskom’s Medupi power station. JOHANNESBURG – When you fly into Johannesburg, solar panels seem to gleam everywhere, from the roofs of mansions and small township homes alike. But ... Read more »

UK 'ignoring report on laws that allow groups to glorify terrorism'

© Provided by The National Armed police arrive at The Shard in London after aterror attack on London Bridge in 2017. The UK government has been urged to introduce laws ... Read more »

Now criminologist calls for ban on 'Sahip' liquor

© Provided by New Straits Times GEORGE TOWN: A criminologist has called for the ban of Malaysian brandy Sahip, which he says sounds like Sahib, an honorific title used to ... Read more »

Ras Al Khaimah's new smart road cameras go live next month

© Provided by The National New smart cameras have been installed on the roads in Ras Al Khaimah. Photo: Ras Al Khaimah Police New cameras to catch rule-breaking drivers will ... Read more »

SA's crisis: How to keep the lights on and save the environment?

© Provided by Independent Online (IOL) Sofia Christensen and Griffin Shea When you fly into Johannesburg, solar panels seem to gleam everywhere, from the roofs of mansions and small township ... Read more »

Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship finds new home at Yas Links

© Ross Kinnaird Tyrrell Hatton of England celebrates with the trophy following victory at the 2021 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. Getty The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship will be staged at ... Read more »

DD Mabuza confident ANC will win the Tshwane turf war

© Provided by Pretoria News ANC deputy president David Mabuza yesterday said he was confident his party would win back the City of Tshwane from the DA. The ANC lost ... Read more »

JSE to contend with subdued Asian markets on Monday after Chinese GDP miss

© Provided by Business Live The JSE looks set to open to subdued Asian markets on Monday morning, with investors concerned about persistent inflation, as well as signs of a ... Read more »

ADUN Sindumin nafi tandatangan surat letak jawatan

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Yusof Yacob mengumumkan keluar daripada Warisan pada 7 Okt dan menjadi ADUN bebas yang menyokong GRS. (Gambar Bernama) PETALING JAYA: Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri ... Read more »

Madhi at forefront of battle against Covid-19

© Provided by SowetanLive Madhi, a decorated academic, has established himself as a voice of reason in the battle against the pandemic, playing a crucial role in educating the public ... Read more »

Court awards Gauteng government an interdict to quell taxi war

© Provided by Times Live This comes after years of conflict between the associations over city routes. On Saturday the associations clashed again, leaving six taxis badly damaged after being ... Read more »

CYRIL RAMAPHOSA: Social partnerships are integral for employment stimulus

© @SAgovnews/Twitter President Cyril Ramaphosa has officially launched the Youth Employment Service aimed at tackling unemployment among young people in South Africa. FROM THE DESK OF THE PRESIDENT Dear Fellow ... Read more »

How royals rank as Archie replaces Charlie in list of top 10 names for boys

Archie, the name of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s son, entered the top 10 names for boys in England and Wales for the first time in 2020, replacing Charlie. ... Read more »

Youth homelessness has risen 40% in five years, says UK charity

Photograph: DBurke/Alamy Youth homeless in the UK has increased by an estimated two-fifths in five years, rising to more than 120,000, a leading charity director has warned, as fresh analysis ... Read more »

Punjab Cabinet opposes Centre's decision to extend BSF jurisdiction

Opposing the Centre’s move to extend the BSF’s area of jurisdiction in the state, the Punjab Cabinet on Monday said law and order is a state subject and the police ... Read more »

Full list of award winners in IPL 2021

Full list of award winners in IPL 2021 The caravan of IPL 2021 finally came to its end and Chennai Super Kings emerged as the champions in the summit clash ... Read more »

At UN court, Azerbaijan accuses Armenia of ethnic cleansing

1 / 2World Court Armenia AzerbaijanFILE – In this Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020 file photo, forest burns in the mountains after shelling by Azerbaijan’s artillery during a military conflict outside ... Read more »

Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in Washington to mark 10th anniversary with gala, ceremony

WASHINGTON — In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in Washington, D.C., opening to the public, the foundation behind the monument is hosting two ... Read more »

Drivers urged to check whether they face £12.50 daily fee as Ulez zone extended

Motorists are being urged to check whether they will face a £12.50 daily fee when London’s pollution charge zone is extended. The area in which drivers of older, more polluting ... Read more »

U.S. FDA declines to approve United-Mannkind's lung disease therapy

FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen outside of FDA headquarters in White Oak, Maryland (Reuters) -The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has declined to approve a lung disease therapy developed by ... Read more »

‘There are issues across the board getting stocks of toys in for Christmas' – Irish toy shop owners

Irish shops are working overtime to ensure as much is on offer to consumers as possible ahead of the festive season. Gareth Staunton, of Nimble Fingers toyshop, in Stillorgan, south ... Read more »

Explainer - What is behind the recent surge in violence in Indian Kashmir?

© Reuters/DANISH ISMAIL FILE PHOTO: Funeral of Supinder Kour, school teacher who was shot and killed by suspected militants, in Srinagar NEW DELHI (Reuters) – A surge in violence in ... Read more »

Canada's 'tax the rich' plan leaves big debt risk untouched

By Julie Gordon and Fergal Smith © Reuters/NICK IWANYSHYN FILE PHOTO: NDP supporter wears “Tax the Rich” mask OTTAWA (Reuters) – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s new government is set to ... Read more »

Drivers urged to check whether they will face £12.50 daily fee

© Yui Mok Motorists are being urged to check whether they will face a £12.50 daily fee when London’s pollution charge zone is extended (Yui Mok/PA) Motorists are being urged ... Read more »

Sir David Amess minute's silence: What time Parliament pays tribute to the MP today ahead of memorial service

Politicians will come together at Westminster today to pay tribute to Sir David Amess after the Conservative MP was killed on Friday. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will lead tributes in ... Read more »

‘You reap what you sow': Russians party despite record Covid figures

Moscow’s streets were buzzing with energy on Friday evening. At Simach, a trendy bar and nightclub in the city centre, the small, sweaty dance floor was packed and a long ... Read more »