Scott Morrison unleashed an extraordinary rant at Emmanuel Macron, after the French President called him a ‘liar.

Speaking at the G20 Summit, Rome on Monday night, Morrison retorted against Macron and said he wouldn’t “cop sledging” on Australia. He refused to apologize for his reneging and joining the US and UK in nuclear submarines. 

“We made the right calls for Australia. He said this to a group of reporters, “I don’t want it to be personalised.”

‘I must state that the statements that have been made questioning Australia’s integrity, not I, are unacceptable. I have broad shoulders and I can handle it, but those slurs…I’m not going for the sledging of Australia.

An awkward handshake in Rome between Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (centre right) and French President Emmanuel Macron (centre left)

An awkward handshake between Scott Morrison, the Australian Prime Minister, and Emmanuel Macron, the French President (centre right).

Scott Morrison has unleashed an extraordinary rant directed at Emmanuel Macron after the French President called his counterpart a 'liar'

Scott Morrison unleashed a bizarre rant against Emmanuel Macron after the French President called each other a liar.

Since Australia pulled out from a $90 billion deal to build its next generation submarines with France, diplomatic tensions have escalated between the two countries.

After an awkward exchange at Rome’s G20 Summit, the French President made clear his feelings about Morrison during a heated exchange with Australian journalists.

 ‘We will see what he will deliver,’ Mr Macron told reporters on Sunday.

“I have a lot respect for your country, and a lot respect and friendship for you people. I simply say that respect is earned. You must be truthful and follow this value.

The French president was asked if the Australian prime minster had lied.

Macron responded, “I don’t think, I understand,” before cutting off further questions.

Since then, Mr Morrison has retracted the claims at a press conference.

When asked if he had lied about President Macron, he answered “No.”

French President Emmanuel Macron (pictured with wife Brigitte earlier this month) has accused Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison of lying

French President Emmanuel Macron (pictured earlier this month with his wife Brigitte) has accused Australian Prime Minster Scott Morrison of lying

He said that the decisions he makes for Australia’s best interest are his. 

Morrison repeated his commitment to Australia’s interests by saying, “I will always stand up for its interests,”

“I won’t abandon it for a second. These decisions can be difficult. It was disappointing and had a negative impact on the relationship with France.

He said that he had explained to Mr Macron previously,’very clearly’, a few months back, that the submarines ordered from France weren’t going to serve Australia’s best interests.

Josh Frydenberg, Australia’s federal treasurer, defended the Prime Minister, but acknowledged that growing tensions between Australia & France are ‘challenging diplomatically.

According to Mr Frydenberg, “It has been ever since the announcement,” he said on Monday’s Today show.

We’ll work through it. It was a good thing that they had – both leaders had that they had – the leaders had that call the other morning. 

“There are areas in which we can work together, and increase that level. However, the AUKUS deal sets Australia up for many decades ahead, which is why it is so important for Australia’s national interest.

In an earlier part of the program, David Littleproud, Agriculture Minister, accused President Macron being unreasonable. 

After a very awkward handshake at G20 summit, Mr Macron lashed out at Morrison. 

The leaders met briefly at the G20 summit in Rome. It was only two days after their first phone conversation since Australia decided to have nuclear-powered submarines with the US and Britain as part of the AUKUS agreement.

Morrison said to reporters that he briefly met the French leader, and that he said g’day. He hoped they could continue speaking later. 

After revelations that Mr Macron had for weeks refused to answer a call from Mr Morrison, their icy phone conversation continued.

In a phone conversation that was apparently tense before Mr Morrison left for Europe’s, Mr Macron said to the prime minister that he had ‘broken trust between our two countries’. 

President Macron’s office released a statement saying that ‘it is now up to Australia to propose tangible actions that embody Australia’s highest political authorities to redefine our bilateral relationship and continue joint actions in the Indo-Pacific. 

An Australian Collins class submarine (front) and the UK nuclear-powered attack submarine, HMS Astute (rear) are seen at HMAS Stirling Royal Australian Navy base in Perth on October 29, 2021. Australia is committed to getting its first nuclear-powered submarines built and operating as quickly as possible, says Defence Minister Peter Dutton, after pulling out of a $90billion deal to have France make its next generation of submarines

A Collins class Australian submarine (front) as well as the HMS Astute, a UK nuclear-powered attack submarine, can be seen at HMAS Stirling Royal Australian Navy bases in Perth on October 29, 2021. After France pulled out of a $90billion agreement to build its next generation of submarines, Australia has committed to building its first nuclear powered submarines and having them operational as soon as possible. Defence Minister Peter Dutton says that Australia is committed to this.

Before he flew into Rome, Mr Morrison played down any possibility of meeting Mr Macron. 

He said, “I don’t think this’s likely to happen this time,” 

“I believe it will eventually happen, but we just need to give him a little bit of space, give them a little bit of space.

“I mean, we had the decision to make in the national interest. Maybe we’ll catch up someday.” It’s better to give our friends space for now.

The plan to avoid Mr Macron in Rome was ruined when the leaders unexpectedly found their way just metres apart. 

Morrison said, “I said g’day, I said ‘day,” to reporters in Rome.

“He was having a conversation with someone, so I went up to him and just put my arm on his shoulder, saying “g’day, Emmanuel” and “look forward to catching up over these next few days.”

“That’s the way these events work, and he was happy that he could exchange those greetings.

Before meeting Mr Morrison, Mr Macron had already met Joe Biden. The US President  expressed great concern about the handling of the secret plan to dump France from the submarine project, saying it was ‘clumsy’ and ‘not done with a lot of grace’.

President Macron told Mr Biden that he had the impression that France was aware long before that the deal was not in place.

‘I honest to God did no know that you had not been.

Mr Morrison was not going to be drawn on whether Mr Biden had put him in deeper trouble than he did with the French.

He said, “He’s had an honest conversation with the French President, and I’ll leave his remarks for them,”

French fury has been directed at Mr Morrison and the Australian government for being kept in the dark about the decision to end the $90 Billion submarine contract. 

The French government was informed by Australia that it was abandoning the deal hours before Mr Morrison. Mr Biden and Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister, hosted a trilateral press conference to discuss the new AUKUS security and defense pact.

Jean-Pierre Thebault (France’s ambassador to Australia) was recalled after the submarine deal was cancelled. He has since returned to Canberra.

The French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told his country’s parliament he asked the ambassador to go back to Australia with two missions: ‘To define our relationship with Australia in the future… and firmly defend our interests in the implementation of Australia’s decision to terminate the submarine program.’

Prime Minister Scott Morrison arrives at the G20 summit of world leaders to discuss climate change, Covid-19 and the post-pandemic global recovery at the La Nuvola center G20 Summit, Rome, Italy

Scott Morrison, Prime Minister, arrives at the G20 summit for world leaders to discuss climate change, Covid-19, and post-pandemic global recovery at La Nuvola center G20 Summit in Rome, Italy

There are concerns that Australia’s abandonment of the French submarine agreement could lead to a stalled free trade agreement with Europe, of which France is a key part.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, said about the deal cancellation that there were many open questions. “One of our member states was treated in a manner that is unacceptable.”

France’s Europe minister Clément Beaune said France could halt progress on an EU-Australia trade deal which has been under negotiation since mid-2018.

Politico was told by he that “Keeping one’s word” is the condition for trust between democracies as well as allies.

“So it is impossible to move forward with trade negotiations as though nothing has happened with a country we don’t trust.” 

According to Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade data, Australia’s bilateral trade with the EU was worth $78.7 million in the 2019-20 financial years.