‘Hit all the wrong notes’ Aussie PM had ‘week from hell’ following Macron text leak

Queen welcomes Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison

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Several diplomacy experts agree on Mr Morrison’s difficult situation within these world leaders gatherings since Australia scrapped a contract with France to sign the Aukus deal with the US and UK. In the following weeks, French President Emmanuel Macron called Scott Morrison a liar.

The accusation was followed by a leak of private texts between the two leaders and a complete lack of solidarity from the US.

Although he played a part in the newly signed submarine deal, US President Joe Biden told Mr Macron the announcement around the snaffling of the subs was “clumsy” and “was not done with a lot of grace.”

“It has been a week from hell for Australian diplomacy,” Dr Romain Fathi, a historian at Flinders University and Paris’ Sciences Po university told news.com.au.

“Mr Morrison hit all the wrong notes in these high-end forums that are so critical for the future of the world, such as at the G20 summit in Rome and the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

“Within a week the Prime Minister managed to isolate Australia diplomatically and give it a poor name.”

Dr Fathi also told news.com.au that the PM placing his hand on Mr Macron and leaking texts was “things you don’t do at large international gatherings”.

He rejects the suggestion that France had overplayed its card on the issue.

“This is not a tantrum, this is a normal diplomatic reaction when one is stabbed in the back. Australia would have done as much.”

Dr Erin Watson-Lynn, an international relations consultant who has been to six G20s, told news.com.au that the world was likely “agnostic or even benign” to Mr Morrison and Australia’s performance overseas.

“It’s the curse of being a middle power – no one else closely watches developments in Australia as much as we do.

“Additional harm wasn’t done this week. The harm was done at the AUKUS announcement back in September.

“And even if you could go back in time and change the rollout of that announcement, I don’t think France would have acted any differently this week.”

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“I think our international reputation is damaged,” NSW’s Liberal Treasurer Matt Kean told the ABC’s Q&A.

However, that view is not shared by everyone.

There were many pictures of Mr Morrison having more positive interactions with other leaders, from India’s Narendra Modi to Prince Charles.

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