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Leftist French Politician’s Visit to Senegal Sparks Concern

Mélenchon's visit, coming six weeks after President Bassirou Faye won the presidency, sparks disquiet about an "unease" in relations with the French authorities.

A prominent hard-left French politician, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, is on a four-day visit to Senegal, becoming the first political figure from France to be received by the new government in the West  African country.

Mélenchon’s visit, coming six weeks after President Bassirou Faye won the presidency, sparks disquiet about an “unease” in relations with the French authorities. But Senegal’s Communications Minister Alioune Sall allayed those concerns.

“We make a distinction between our special relations with friendly parties and our long-standing relations with France”, he said.

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Mélenchon’s Unbowed party supported President Faye and his Prime Minister Ousamen Sonko when their party was in opposition. Sonko referenced this support during the welcome ceremony, noting that the  “Unbowed movement has been very visible and everyone has been able to see the extent to which its support has been constant, with no ulterior motives”.

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