With Tunisia, Egypt, and now Libya, French diplomacy has been “rocked by the Arab uprising,” headlines Le Monde. The French daily explains that “the sudden escalation of popular uprisings in the Middle East — a region where France believed it played a special role — and criticism of France’s foreign policy have prompted a painful crisis of conscience at the Quai d’Orsay [seat of the French diplomatic service]”. Le Monde has also published a broadside attack on Nicolas Sarkozy’s administration signed by an anonymous collective of diplomats calling themselves the Marly Group [after the upmarket café of the Louvre museum]. The authors of the attack insist that the “incoherent foreign policy” characterised by “amateurism” and “a short-term preoccupation with the media” have resulted in a situation where “the voice of France can no longer be heard.”
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