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Moment that ScoMo left stunned: Baffled Prime Minister gets a question in French and continues to dabble


Moment ScoMo left stunned: Baffled Prime Minister gets a question in French and continues to dabble: ‘Well, I don’t speak French’

  • Scott Morrison asked if the French president should ‘donnez-moi un break’
  • Morrison said at Washington press conference he ‘doesn’t speak French’
  • France-Australia-UK relations tense after security deal
  • British Prime Minister first said the sentence suggested Macron ‘should give him a break’

Scott Morrison continues to struggle on the world stage after being asked a question in French by a reporter at a press conference in Washington.

The Australian Prime Minister was asked if he had a message for French President Emmanuel Macron after a recent diplomatic split – and if he agreed with Boris Johnson’s comments. Macron must ‘donnez-moi un break’.

The British Prime Minister suggested – in a clumsy mix of English and French for schoolboys – that Mr Macron should ‘give him a break’.

“Well, I don’t speak French,” the Australian Prime Minister replied with an uneasy laugh.

“That wasn’t one of my strong points when I was in school or even university,” he continued.

“But Boris has a way of expressing things that only Boris can do.”

The Australian leader revealed he is getting the cold shoulder from his French counterpart (pictured together in 2021)

Relations with France have been tense after Australia and the UK announced the AUKUS security alliance last week.

The deal involved Australia tearing up a long-standing $90 billion deal to buy a dozen French submarines and instead acquire nuclear submarines from the United States and the UK.

‘My message would be this,’ Mr Morrison continued.

“We value our relationship with France. We still have about $6 billion in defense contracts with French companies.

‘Our door is wide open, the invitation is here. We understand the pain and disappointment and we will be patient as we look forward to working with our friends again.”

Mr Morrison flew to France in June to meet Mr Macron (pictured), but can't even get a safe phone call

Mr Morrison flew to France in June to meet Mr Macron (pictured), but can’t even get a safe phone call

Australia’s plans to acquire at least eight US or British nuclear-powered ships after months of secret talks sparked anger in Paris.

In retaliation, France canceled a cocktail party celebrating US-French ties, recalled its ambassadors in Washington and Canberra, and accused both countries of backstabbing and lies.

While US President Joe Biden and Macron settled their differences in a 30-minute phone call, which the White House described as “friendly” on Wednesday, not much effort has been made with the Australian Prime Minister.

Morrison said he had tried to contact the French leader but had been snubbed and the call had “not been made yet”.

France plans to return its ambassador to Washington next week, but there is no announcement yet about the French ambassador’s return to Canberra.

Morrison said in Washington he doesn't speak French when asked whether Macron should go 'moi un break' or 'give him a break' (pictured)

Morrison said in Washington he doesn’t speak French when asked whether Macron should go ‘moi un break’ or ‘give him a break’ (pictured)

US President Joe Biden will host the first face-to-face meeting of leaders of an Indo-Pacific alliance known as “the Quad” at the White House on Friday.

Biden is meeting with leaders from India, Japan and Australia to give the US president a chance to highlight a central goal of his foreign policy: more attention to the Pacific.

The US is concerned about China’s coercive economic practices and troubling military maneuvering in the region.

The four leaders’ talks are also expected to focus on climate, Covid-19 response and cybersecurity.

Ahead of the summit, the Japanese and Indian governments welcomed the AUKUS alliance and the deal to equip Australia with nuclear-powered submarines.

The deal was forged to allow Australia to conduct longer patrols and give the country an edge over the Chinese navy.



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