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Mauritinia - France

Mamère withdraws drugs slur against Mauritania's Abdel Aziz

RFI/Reuters

French MEP Noël Mamère has backed down on an accusation that Mauritania’s President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz is a “drugs godfather” after being summoned to appear in court for libel. Mamère claimed that his “spontaneous” statement had been exploited for political purposes in Mauritania.

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Aziz’s lawyer on Wednesday in Paris issued a summons to Mamère to appear in court after the Green party Euro-MP called his client a “drugs godfather” in a televised debate.

Dossier: War in Mali

On Thursday Mamère published a statement in the Mauritanian weekly Le Calame declaring the dispute an “unfortunate misunderstanding” and saying that he had mentioned the president “no doubt improperly”.

“It emerges from all these exchanges that my free and spontaneous statement has been abusively exploited in a series of economico-political and tribal manipulations,” the statement said.

On 4 March the Mauritanian president said that his country would be ready to take part in a UN peacekeeping force in Mali, where France has intervened against Islamist militias.

But he said Mauritania “is not ready” to participate at the moment because the Franco-Malian offensive had taken place unexpectedly.

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