‘Totally untrue!’ Australian journalist slams Scott Morrison over Macron ‘selfie’ claim
AUKUS partnership taught France ‘harsh lessons’ says Shields
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Taking to Twitter following the incident, David Crowe, Chief Political Correspondent of The Age and SMH denied the allegation against Australian journalists. He tweeted: This was totally untrue. There were no selfies.
“Australian journalists were at the final press conferences at the G20 and their job: door-stopped Emmanuel Macron when he walked past,” suggesting the French President was in fact blanked.
Political reporter Judy McIntosh was also at the scene and also commented on Twitter.
Questioning Mr Morrison’s demeanour, she said: “PM Morrison getting a bit snarky towards the press pack in Rome – accusing them of taking selfies with the French President.”
A transcript of the remarks by the PM in the conference was also attached to Ms McIntosh’s Tweet.
One journalist asked Mr Morrison if he would be meeting Mr Macron at the COP26 summit in Glasgow.
The Prime Minister responded: “I’ve seen him several times today. You guys have seen him, you were getting selfies with him.”
When asked if Mr Morrison would continue to see the French President, the PM stated that the mood between the two had improved following the signing of the AUKUS deal.
“No, look, I literally saw him about half an hour ago, just before, sorry, just before the last session I was in, and we exchanged pleasantries once more,” said the Australian premier.
A journalist told Mr Morrison: “Prime Minister, just on the submarine contract… First of all, we weren’t taking selfies with President Macron. Second of all, when we talked about…”
The Prime Minister jumped in prior to the question being completed.
“I must have been misinformed,” said Mr Morrison attempting to divert the awkward situation.
Australia caused the French President to erupt with anger when it signed a nuclear submarine contract deal with the United States and the United Kingdom dubbed the AUKUS deal.
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France recalled its head of mission to Canberra as a sign of protest.
Jean-Eves le Drian, the French Foreign Minister labelled the move as “a stab in the back” by Australia.
France has since declared it will reconsider its diplomatic strategy with Australia following its ambassador returning to the country.
Tension remains between Britain and France over the issue, fuelled by an ongoing fishing war over rights to enter territorial waters.
Ties seem to have been restored to previous levels between the US and France.
In a meeting with Mr Macron at the French embassy in The Vatican, President Biden apologised to the French President, with Mr Biden saying, “I swear to God” that he thought the French has been made aware of the upcoming deal.
The leaders arrive in Glasgow for the COP26 summit to discuss climate change this week.
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