Scott Morrison lands in Rome ahead of G20 Summit
Scott Morrison has landed at Leonardo da Vinci International Airport in Italy ahead of the G20 Summit, being held in Rome.
The Prime Minister made a brief stop in Dubai on his way to Europe and a meeting of the world’s 20 largest economies.
The event will see the Australian PM meet with French President Emmanuel Macron in person for the first time since a diplomatic row, after Australia cancelled a $90 billion submarine deal in favour of a new alliance with the UK and US.
However Morrison and Macron spoke on the phone for the first time since the spat, just hours before the Prime Minister got on a plane and left Canberra for Italy, followed by the UN climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland.
Macron reportedly told Morrison that the AUKUS deal “broke the relationship of trust between our two countries”.
While the Australian side said the leaders had “a candid discussion…. the Prime Minister looks forward to future collaborations.”
9News understands during the 30 minute phone call Morrison stressed he understood France’s view but said Australia would always make decisions in its own national interest.
The Prime Minister also informing the President, Australia would be net zero by 2050
Then the President sent a carefully crafted shot across the Prime Minister’s bows urging him to adopt ambitious measures and end consumption of coal.
That would threaten $50 billion in exports and according to Australia that part of the conversation didn’t happen.
“We’ll continue to reduce emissions while we keep our economy growing,” Morrison said.
Meanwhile, in Italy, an extra 5,300 troops and police officers have been deployed, curbing public transport and sealing off a whole neighbourhood of Rome to keep the peace during this weekend’s summit.
Police were out in force already Friday as leaders began arriving, and schools in the Italian capital cancelled afternoon activities so students could get home before most roadblocks were set up. Protests and demonstrations were planned throughout the weekend.
The main security zone was around the “Nuvola” cloud-like convention centre in Rome’s Fascist-era EUR neighbourhood. But other areas were being cordoned off at different times depending on where the leaders were, including around the presidential palace and even the Trevi Fountain.
COVID-19 economic recovery and climate change are the two main issues being discussed by the leaders of the world’s 20 biggest economies, who are gathering in Rome before heading to Glasgow, Scotland, for the UN climate conference next week.