World

Australian PM departs for Quad meeting amid French submarine deal fallout

Reuters Canberra | Updated on September 20, 2021

Tensions run high as Australia scraps $40 billion deal with France’s Naval Group to build a fleet of conventional submarines

The Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, departed on Monday for Washington to meet with leaders of the Quad grouping amid criticism over his government’s decision to abandon a $40 billion submarine deal with France.

Australia last week said it would scrap a deal with France’s Naval Group to build a fleet of conventional submarines and would instead build at least eight nuclear-powered submarines with US and British technology after striking a trilateral security partnership.

France has said the relationship with Australia and the United States is in “crisis” and has recalled its ambassadors from both countries.

Quad summit

While Australia has moved to dampen tensions, expressing its regret over the incident, Morrison’s meeting with fellow Quad leaders British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US President Joe Biden threatens to inflame French irritation.

“The French are very unimpressed and the sight of Morrison, Biden and Johnson together will do little to repair ties,” said Haydon Manning, a political science professor at Flinders University in South Australia.

Also see: Quad coordination crucial for tackling global issues like securing free and open Indo-Pacific: Experts

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will also attend the leaders’ meeting of the Quad group later this week.

The Quad will discuss Covid-19, climate change and regional security, two sources familiar with the schedule told Reuters.

“This is all about ensuring that Australia’s sovereign interests will be put first to ensure that Australians here can live peacefully with the many others in our region,” Morrison told reporters in Sydney as he boarded the plane to Washington.

Emission targets

New agreements furthering cooperation between the four countries are expected, but Australia will not announce strengthened climate targets sought by the United States, one senior government source said.

Morrison has rejected setting a target of net zero emissions by 2050 and is under pressure to do more ahead of a United Nations climate summit in Glasgow from October 31 to November 12.

Published on September 20, 2021

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

You May Also Like