Prime Minister Scott Morrison has denied accusations by French President Emmanuel Macron that he lied over the scrapping of a $90 billion submarine contract.
Mr Macron was probed about the damage done to the relationship between France and Australia at the G20 summit in Rome overnight.
He was asked if Mr Morrison lied to him, to which the French President replied: “I don’t think, I know.”
Mr Macron was also asked if he could trust Mr Morrison again.
“We will see what he will deliver,” he replied.
“I have a lot of respect for your country, a lot of respect and friendship for your people. I just say when we have respect, you have to be true and you have to behave in line and consistent with this value.”
But later in Rome, Mr Morrison insisted he had not lied when the Federal Government did not fulfil the submarine contract.
The Prime Minister said he would always stand up for Australia’s interests.
Earlier, the two leaders crossed paths at the G20 summit in Rome.
Photos from Rome showed Mr Morrison and Mr Macron greeting briefly in a crowd.
“He was having a chat with someone and I went up and just put my arm on his shoulder and said ‘g’day Emmanuel’, and ‘look forward to catching up in the next couple of days’,” Mr Morrison told reporters from Rome.
Relations between France and Australia plummeted after the Federal Government announced it ditched a $90 billion diesel-powered submarines contract with a French defence company in favour of a future deal for nuclear-powered submarines, after it joined a new defence pact with the US and UK.