News Politics Australian Politics France slams the door on meeting with Trade Minister Dan Tehan

France slams the door on meeting with Trade Minister Dan Tehan

Trade Minister Dan Tehan sought a meeting with his French counterpart and got a brusque 'Non!' in response. Photo: AAP
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French Trade Minister Franck Riester has declined an offer from his Australian counterpart to meet next month in Paris.

Dan Tehan told ABC radio on Monday he would be “very keen” to meet Riester when he is in Paris for a meeting of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

“We won’t follow up the Australian minister’s request for a meeting. We can’t go on as if it was business as usual,” a French official said.

The response is another signal of France’s fury over a scrapped $90 billion submarine contract.

Instead of conventional diesel-powered boats, Australia wants at least eight submarines with nuclear propulsion under the AUKUS security pact.

But the new agreement with the United States and United Kingdom has infuriated the French.

Earlier this week, the prime minister confirmed there was no discussion scheduled with French President Emmanuel Macron to soothe tensions.

“The opportunity for that call is not yet. But we’ll be patient,” Mr Morrison told reporters in Washington DC on Thursday, Australian time.

Jean-Pierre Thebault, France’s ambassador to Australia, was recalled to Paris after the submarine switch.