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Ex-diplomat: Morocco ‘blackmailing’ France over Western Sahara

June 6, 2023 at 4:00 pm

Ex-Ambassador Gerard Araud speaks during the centennial of the United States entry into World War I at the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri. [DAVE KAUP/AFP via Getty Images]

The former French ambassador to the United Nations, Gerard Araud, has said that “Morocco is blackmailing France on the Sahara issue, after Paris was one of its biggest supporters in the file.”

Responding to recent statements made by French-Moroccan writer Tahar Benjelloun in which he blamed French President Emmanuel Macron for the deterioration in relations between Rabat and Paris, Araud commented: “It’s the usual Moroccan blackmail on Western Sahara, following the American volte-face.”

The US administration of former President Donald Trump issued a presidential decree supporting Morocco’s territorial integrity in December 2020.

“I’ve spent nights defending Morocco at the Security Council on behalf of France, including against the United States,” said Araud.

Relations between Morocco and France deteriorated after Moroccan intelligence was accused of using Israeli-made Pegasus spyware to spy on French President Emmanuel Macron.

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