France's outgoing foreign minister says defeat of Australia's Morrison 'suits me fine'

Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian accused Australia of backstabbing following the Aukus deal. PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AFP) - France's outgoing foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Australia's conservative Prime Minister Scott Morrison losing polls on Saturday (May 21) "suits me fine".

Canberra in September angered Paris by ditching a multi-billion dollar submarine contract with France in favour of a new deal negotiated in secret with the US and Britain.

"The Prime Minister's defeat suits me fine," Mr Le Drian said.

"The actions taken at the moment when they were taken were of such brutality and cynicism, and I would even be tempted to say of unequivocal incompetence," he added.

"I hope we can resume frank and constructive dialogue with Australia in the future," he said, in comments to reporters as he handed over to his successor Catherine Colonna.

Mr Le Drian accused Australia of backstabbing and the United States of betrayal at the time.

Paris recalled its envoys to both Australia and the United States over the furore.

But President Emmanuel Macron later ordered the French ambassador to Washington to return to his post after a call with US President Joe Biden.

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