Leader of the French far rightist party, Le Front National, has lashed out at presidential hopeful and former president Nicolas Sarkozy for the secret visit he paid to King Salman of Saudi Arabia in Tangier, Morocco, where he was vacationing in August.
Marine Le Pen, who called the meeting controversial, told her supporters at a rally in the French city of Brachay, on September 2, that as revealed by French Marianne newspaper Nicolas Sarkozy secretly travelled to Morocco early August to meet the Saudi King and pledge him “allegiance.”
Nicolas Sarkozy on August 3 visited King Salman in his private residence in Tangier. According to Marianne it was a seduction move in view of refreshing French-Saudi ties.
During the two-hour meeting, Sarkozy claimed his attachment to Islam in France, while he is known for his anti-Islam stance. He has been accused of demonizing Islam to gain public support in France.
During his meeting with King Salmane, he also alluded to his presidential ambition, but according to the French magazine, the meeting yielded no results as Riyadh is currently more concerned with strengthening ties with the U.S. and with the American elections.
Sarkozy late last month announced his presidential ambitions in his book titled “Everything for France” where he intimated his intentions were mission-like at the time the country is caught up in a difficult situation marred by a series of terrorist attacks.
The FN leader pointed out that French electors cannot afford to rally behind someone who claims his opposition to terrorism but pledges allegiance to the “promoters of Wahhabism.”
For Marine Le Pen, there is discrepancy between the image that Sarkozy has promoted in his election campaigns, and the alliances he established under wraps with “promoters” of extremism.
“Clearly, Nicolas Sarkozy, who wants to be the media champion of fighting Islamic radicalism, paid allegiance to the global promoter of Wahhabism. That is, the doctrine adopted by the most obscurantists, most radicals, and organizers of the worst provocations,” she was quoted by several media outlets as saying.
Wahhabism, a religious movement or branch of Sunni Islam, is described as ultraconservative, austere and fundamentalist. In 2013, the European Parliament identified Wahhabism as the main source of global terrorism.