In a fiery speech to the French parliament on Monday, the former presidential candidate and prominent opposition figure Marine Le Pen criticized President Macron’s foreign policy, particularly his administration’s handling of the deteriorating relationship with Morocco.
France has historically been a key player in maintaining relations with various nations due to its diplomatic flexibility and creativity, she said. However, Le Pen lamented, this role is no longer the case as France’s disappointing and rudderless diplomacy has made the country much to the disappointment of many countries, especially Morocco.
“The president no longer engages in meaningful dialogue with Morocco and has made the regrettable decision to pursue a fruitless alliance with Algeria,” Le Pen asserted as she addressed French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne and Foreign Affairs Minister Catherine Colonna.
The France-Morocco relationship has been on shaky ground over the past decade.
Amid simmering tensions over France’s ambiguous stance on the Western Sahara question, recent reports of disinformation by certain French media outlets regarding the Al Haouz earthquake in Morocco have only served to exacerbate the strained ties between the two nations.
Several French politicians, including Jean-Luc Mélenchon, have openly criticized both France’s foreign policy in the Maghreb and the Macron administration’s response to the September 8 earthquake that struck Morocco.
In particular, Melenchon lambasted the French media’s treatment of the North African country in the wake of the disaster, deeming it “utterly disrespectful” and “excessive.”
These ongoing tensions between France and Morocco add to existing grievances, including France’s curtailment of visas for Moroccans in September 2021 and Paris’s reluctance to express unequivocal support for Morocco’s sovereignty over the Western Sahara region.