Relations between france and Muslim countries have soured since President Emmanuel Macron condemned the gruesome murder of a French schoolteacher in a Paris suburb and vowed to fight radical Islam and Islamist separatism.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has arrived in Egypt in a bid to ease tensions between Paris and the Muslim world. The official “will pursue the appeasement process” set out by President Macron, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
A diplomatic source, who spoke with the news agency Agence france Press said the foreign minister would meet Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, his counterpart Sameh Shoukry, and Ahmed al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, a prestigious title in Egypt.
Last month, Ahmed al-Tayeb denounced statements about Islamist separatism made by President Emmanuel Macron as “racist” and said the French president was spreading “hate speech”. He also called on the international community to criminalise anti-Muslim actions.
During a joint press conference with his Egyptian counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian addressed the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, saying France respects Islam, but strongly condemns calls for a boycott that were made in response to President Macron’s statements.
Relations between Paris and the Muslim world became strained last month. At the beginning of October, President Macron spoke about the government’s plans to introduce new measures aimed at tackling…