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Melenchon: France Should Take Position on Sahara

French politician Jean Luc Melenchon, founder of the France Insoumise (“Rebellious France”) movement, arrived in Morocco on October 4 as part of a humanitarian mission to aid earthquake victims in Al Haouz, but the subject quickly turned to politics. He held a press briefing in Amizmiz and addressed the Moroccan Sahara issue in an answer for le Desk news outlet question.

Upon his arrival in Morocco, Melenchon expressed his deep emotions, attributing them to the special bond he shares with the country and its people. He described Morocco’s beautiful landscape and warm ambiance as “profoundly touching.”

Melenchon criticized the decline in diplomatic relations between Rabat and Paris, condemning France’s “arrogance.” He said France’s “looking down” on Morocco is “unbearable,” asserting, “We must put an end to arrogance and stop lecturing!”

He criticized other European countries for believing they are “superior to the rest of humanity,” when in reality “we share a common existence.”

“Franco-Moroccan relations must improve,” he argued. “It is time for France to tone it down.”

Melenchon commended the effectiveness of Moroccan diplomacy and the role it has played in achieving consensus on UN resolutions over the years.

Moroccan diplomacy has been consistent and “very effective,” he asserted. “It has allowed everyone to come to an agreement with UN resolutions for years.”

Noting the evolving global perspectives on the Sahara, with the influence of the United States, Israel, and Spain, he asserted, “it’s not Morocco that has failed to keep its word.”

He urged France to adopt a more pragmatic approach and consider the compelling proposals put forward by Morocco. He stated, “There are new factors that the French should probably think about more carefully. The stance of the United States, Israel, and Spain has changed how the world views this issue. I hope my country understands this, and that, in any case, we don’t turn [the Sahara] into a subject of dispute with the Moroccans.”

President Emmanuel Macron has faced growing pressure from other leaders regarding the Sahara issue. In July, 94 members of parliament from various political parties signed a joint letter expressing their concern about France’s lack of a stance on the Sahara.

They called for a departure from what they called France’s “comfort zone” regarding the Sahara, and expressly acknowledged Morocco’s sovereignty over the region.