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French Opposition Leader Jean-Luc Melenchon to Visit Morocco

French politician Jean-Luc Melenchon, founder of the La France Insoumise party and native of Tangier (north of Morocco), will pay a multi-day working visit to Morocco on Oct. 4, as per concurring sources.

Melenchon’s visit comes at a difficult juncture marking the French-Moroccan diplomatic ties, namely the state visit by president Emmanuel Macron that was recently announced by the French foreign minister but subsequently denied by Moroccan official sources.

The exclusion of French rescuers from relief efforts related to the earthquake that hit Morocco three weeks ago also exacerbated the situation.

Several Moroccan opposition political parties, such as the Party of Progress and Socialism (PPS) and the Istiqlal Party, and members of the Morocco-France Friendship Group, led by Mohamed Zidouh, had extended an invitation to Melenchon to visit the Kingdom.

Melenchon has repeatedly criticized French President Emmanuel Macron for not maintaining and strengthening political ties with Morocco. His party has been taking part, along with major French trade unions, in regular protests against what it deemed poor and unpopular public policies.

Melenchon will arrive in Marrakech on Wednesday to visit houses and landmarks in the old Medina that suffered some damage due to the September 8 earthquake. The left-wing politician will also give lectures, including one in Casablanca on Oct. 5 to promote his new book “Faites mieux” (Do Better).