Scott Morrison contradicts Biden’s comments on whether French were informed about Aukus

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    Scott Morrison contradicts Biden’s comments on whether French were informed about Aukus

    Australia news

    Scott Morrison contradicts Biden’s comments on whether French were informed about Aukus

    Australian prime minister defends move to ditch French submarine contract as ‘the right decision’ at G20 in Rome

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    French president Emmanuel Macron greets Australian prime minister Scott Morrison in Paris in June

    “There was never an easy way for us I think to get to a point where we had to disappoint a friend and partner – it was a difficult decision, but for Australia, it was the right decision”.

    Morrison with UK prime minister Boris Johnson during the G20 summit in Rome.

    The rolling row over submarines has followed Morrison from Canberra to Rome. Saturday was the Australian prime minister’s first face-to-face interaction with Macron since the diplomatic eruption over the cancelation of the Naval Group contract.

    Macron has scheduled a number of bilateral meetings with leaders during the G20 summit, but not with Australia. The two saw one another briefly and informally before an official photograph of G20 leaders.

    Morrison says Covid origins must be found

    Morrison used his opening remarks at the G20 summit to declare the world needs to identify the origins of Covid-19 in order to provide the best protection against another deadly pandemic.

    He said an inquiry was not “about blame, but about understanding how it came about”.

    “We not only need to end this pandemic, we also need to make sure we don’t have another one,” Morrison said on Saturday. “We also need enhanced surveillance, and a stronger, more independent and more transparent World Health Organization”.

    The Australian government’s call early in the pandemic for independent investigators to be allowed into Wuhan to investigate the origins of the virus infuriated Beijing, and was one of the factors behind a significant deterioration in the China relationship.

    UK’s top climate adviser launches scathing attack on Australia on eve of Cop26

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    On Saturday at the G20, the prime minister said Australia supported a recommendation of the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response to give the WHO broad power to investigate pathogens with pandemic potential “in all countries, without prior approval”.

    Australia’s prime minister also met with the Indonesian president Joko Widodo. The two leaders canvassed regional concerns about the potential for the controversial Aukus submarine pact to accelerate a regional arms race.

    As well as French fury about the submarine snub, Indonesia and Malaysia have been concerned about Aukus. Regional neighbours are worried it could breach Australia’s longstanding commitment to nuclear non-proliferation. But Australian officials believe the initial concerns have largely been ameliorated.

    During Saturday’s conversation with the Indonesian president, Morrison flagged the desire of Australians to return to Bali now restrictions around international travel were easing.

    Ahead of the Cop26 summit where Australia is expected to pursue more technology partnerships and unveil funding for projects in the region, Morrison and Widodo also discussed, according to Australian officials, how technology will “play a pivotal role in addressing climate change, particularly in the developing world”.

    Topics

    • Australia news
    • Australian politics
    • Scott Morrison
    • Aukus
    • Cop26
    • Joe Biden
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    Published at Sat, 30 Oct 2021 23:13:21 +0000

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/oct/31/scott-morrison-contradicts-bidens-claims-that-french-werent-fully-informed-on-aukus

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