The French president alleges that Australia’s prime minister lied about a submarine contract

Emmanuel Macron, the French president, has accused Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison of lying to him about a cancelled submarine sale.

When asked if he believes Mr Morrison lied, the president said, “I don’t think, I know.”

Mr Macron was enraged when Australia scrapped a $37 billion (£27 billion) plan to build 12 submarines and instead negotiated the so-called Aukus, a new defence treaty with the US and the UK.

Mr Morrison maintains that he was not deceitful.

For the first time since the conflict erupted in September, the two met at the G20 conference in Rome.

On the side-lines of the event, an Australian journalist questioned President Macron if he could trust Mr Morrison again.

Mr Macron responded, “We’ll see what he delivers.”

“I have a great deal of admiration for your country. I have a great deal of admiration and friendship for your people. I just state that when we have respect, we must be honest and conduct in accordance with this principle.”

The deal’s cancellation sparked a furious feud between France, Australia, and the United States.

The decision was criticised by French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian as a “stab in the back,” and Paris temporarily recalled its diplomats to Australia and the United States.

Scott Morrison told reporters after Mr Macron’s remarks that he had not lied to him and that he had previously conveyed to him that conventional submarines would no longer suit Australia’s defence needs.

He went on to say that the process of establishing trust and repairing the relationship between the two countries had already begun.

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