Jean-Luc Mélenchon called on France to “turn to arrogance” on Wednesday during a visit to Morocco, which comes amid tensions in relations between Paris and Rabat, which the rebel leader wants to “improve”.
On the first day that took him to the areas affected by the September 8 earthquake, Mr. Mélenchon assessed that France “did not always shine with its connection, and the resulting difficulties were, (in his) opinion. , might have been avoided”.
Bilateral tensions hit a new chapter when the earthquake hit the Marrakech region, killing nearly 3,000 people. Morocco did not accept the aid proposed by Paris, which led to heated disputes in France.
The Quai d’Orsay later noted that President Emmanuel Macron had been invited by King Mohammed VI to make a state visit, which Rabat denied.
“We have to turn to arrogance,” Mr. Mélenchon told journalists in Amizmiz (south of Marrakech), where many survivors live in tents.
“Relations between France and Morocco must be improved (…) This way of looking down on Morocco is even more unbearable for me when I see what I see here,” continued the Moroccan native of Tangier (in the north).
“Morocco has coped admirably and there are lessons for us French people in terms of skill, discipline and mutual aid,” the rebel leader said.
Relations between Morocco and France, the former colonial power home to a large Moroccan diaspora, have soured with Algeria, which cut diplomatic ties with Rabat in 2021 after accusing it of “hostile acts”.
Morocco also criticizes France for not aligning with the US and Israel in recognizing the “Moroccan nature” of Western Sahara, which is nearly 80% Moroccan-controlled.
“These are new parameters that the French will undoubtedly have to think about very carefully,” Mr. Mélenchon said, he showed his support for the people of Western Sahara.
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