Chris Uhlmann, ABC NET
5 September 2016
The Australian Prime Minister has urged the French President to ensure that there is a "ferocious commitment" to the security around the joint submarine build, in the wake of an embarrassing leak of sensitive data from the French contractor.
Malcolm Turnbull met Francois Hollande on the sidelines of the G20 and the ABC has been told the President said the leak from French company DCNS was unacceptable.
France was holding a comprehensive investigation into information obtained by The Australian about the company's construction of submarines for India, and would keep Australia updated.
Mr. Turnbull emphasized the importance of data security and that, while hardware and software flaws would always be an issue, the most damaging vulnerability was "warm ware" — that the source of the leak was trusted insiders.
The leaders noted the significance of the defense relationship between the two countries, which would become even closer as a result of the decades-long $50 billion submarine project.
In a long meeting, they also compared notes on terrorism and the Middle East, and the implications of Brexit on trade between Australia and the European Union.
The Prime Minister said Australia was committed to progression of the Australian-EU Free Trade Agreement and it would be important not to lose momentum because of Brexit.
The leaders had a detailed discussion on the complexities of the Syrian conflict and agreed on the need for a political solution to ensure terrorist groups were not allowed to occupy territory in the long term.
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