Australia leaking French President Emmanuel Macron’s text messages to the media was a “new low” and a warning to other world leaders that their private communications with the Australian government could be weaponized and used against them, the French ambassador said on Wednesday.
French Ambassador to Australia Jean-Pierre Thebault used an address to Australia’s National Press Club to make a withering attack on Canberra’s surprise decision to scrap a 90 billion Australian dollar ($66 billion) contract with France to build a fleet of 12 diesel-electric submarines.
“Claims had been made and those claims were refuted,” Scott Morrison said when asked about the text message that the French government is accusing his office of leaking.
The text message, which was reported this week by The Australian Financial Review, was sent to Mr Morrison by Mr Macron two days before the Prime Minister announced the AUKUS security pact with the US and Britain in September.
What’s in the text?
One message sent by Macron asks: “Should I expect good or bad news for our joint submarines ambitions?”