Dans cette photo d'archive prise le 15 juin 2021, le Premier ministre australien Scott Morrison fait un geste alors qu'il quitte le 10 Downing Street dans le centre de Londres. Morrison a lancé le 16 septembre 2021 une "invitation ouverte" à des entretiens avec le président chinois Xi Jinping, après avoir annoncé un série d'achats militaires de haute technologie stimulés par la force croissante de Pékin. DOSSIER AFP PHOTO </p><div itemprop="articleBody"> <p>BRISBANE (Reuters) – L'ancien dirigeant australien Malcolm Turnbull a déclaré mercredi que son successeur avait "délibérément trompé" la France en renonçant à un accord de plusieurs milliards d'euros sur les sous-marins avec Paris en faveur d'alternatives nucléaires américaines ou britanniques.
Turnbull, whose government approved the submarine deal with France in 2016, was scathing about how Prime Minister Scott Morrison handled the change, which was part of a new strategic alliance with the United States. United and Great Britain.
“Morrison did not act in good faith. He deliberately deceived France. He is only defending his conduct by saying it was in Australia’s national interest, ”Turnbull told the National Press Club in Canberra.
“France believes that it has been deceived and humiliated and it has been. This betrayal of trust will haunt our relations with Europe for years to come, ”he added.
“The Australian government has treated the French Republic with contempt. »
Turnbull said that despite the new defense partnership between the United States, Britain and Australia, no contract had been signed for Australia to purchase nuclear-powered submarines, which should either be the British Astute class, the largest American Virginia class.
“Australia doesn’t have a new submarine program at all,” he said. “The only certainty is that we will not have new submarines for 20 years and their cost will be much higher than French-designed submarines. “
Morrison said the decision to switch to nuclear-powered submarines was prompted by changing dynamics in the Asia-Pacific region, where China’s growing military power is increasingly asserting its claims on the quasi- entire South China Sea.
But Paris reacted with fury to the change, claiming it had lost a contract initially worth AU $ 50 billion ($ 36.5 billion, € 31 billion). Calling the cancellation a “stab in the back”, France recalled its ambassadors to the United States and Australia.
French President Emmanuel Macron has since held talks with his US counterpart Joe Biden to start restoring relations and asked his ambassador to return to Washington this week.
There has been no announcement of the French ambassador’s return to Canberra, however, and no discussions have been reported between Macron and Morrison.