AUKUS fallout: double-dealing and deception came at a diplomatic cost

AUKUS fallout: double-dealing and deception came at a diplomatic cost

AUKUS fallout: double-dealing and deception came at a diplomatic cost While Scott Morrison was secretly pursuing the AUKUS deal with Washington and London, the French ambassador in Canberra was starting to fret. President Emmanuel Macron had charged him to act with “ambition” in expanding the relationship with Australia, yet Jean-Pierre Thebault was finding it impossible to get access to cabinet ministers except for fleeting handshakes and “how-do-you-dos” at cocktail parties. Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne would not agree to see him, nor would then defence minister Linda Reynolds. Yet the nations were supposed to be strategic partners on a high-stakes, $90 billion “Future Submarine” project. As 2020 became 2021, Thebault was feeling stonewalled. What was going on? Morrison was confidentially exploring the prospect of nuclear-propelled submarines with the US and …
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