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Emmanuel Macron tells Scott Morrison  'we're by your side' on China

Emmanuel Macron has declared "we stand by your side" in Australia's ongoing stoush with China, declaring Canberra "central" to regional stability.

The French President made the comments as he welcomed Prime Minister Scott Morrison at the Elysee Palace in Paris, where the pair discussed Beijing's increasingly assertive posture in the Indo-Pacific.

Transcript PM Morrison visit to OECD HQ Paris

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, how did your discussions go with President Macron around the submarine program and the cost of that?

PRIME MINISTER: It was a very positive discussion we had last night about a whole raft of issues and of course including the contract. We are coming up to important gates in that contract and there have been issues that we have had to address over particularly the last eight months and President Macron and I have a very, very open and very transparent, and very friendly relationship where we can speak candidly to each other about these issues.

Ahh ... there was a Plan B 🤥

JOURNALIST: Did you ask President Macron to take a greater hand in the subs contract and in your meeting with Naval Group, did that leave you with a sense that we do need a Plan B?

PRIME MINISTER: First of all I would say that President Macron has been taking a very active role. He and I have been discussing these issues for some time and he has an open invitation for he and I to raise issues that relate to this contract and we have, consistently. And I appreciate the direct role that he has played in ensuring that we've seen a much-improved position come forward from Naval over the last six months, but there is still a long way to go.

JOURNALIST: Is it true that Naval Group has a September deadline to submit the design work for the next two years and if the Government is not happy in September would you, will you walk away from the contract.

PRIME MINISTER: The Scope Two works, the master schedule, total costs, these are all the next steps. Contracts have gates and that's the next gate.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Sep 16th, 2021 at 03:47:04 PM EST
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