These images of the ceremony, filmed Monday evening by the Egyptian delegation, were broadcast in France by the team of the show “Quotidien” on the TMC channel. The decoration presentation was not on President Macron’s official agenda, as was the dinner offered in honor of President Sissi.
The award of the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor to President Sissi, decried by human rights defenders for the repression in his country, has sparked outrageous reactions on social networks.
Such attributions fall under the “imposed exercises” during state visits, one notes in the entourage of President Macron.
“The exchange of decorations is one of the traditional elements of state visits, which are rare, one to two per year. And as they are heads of state, they receive the highest distinction”, adds a French diplomatic source.
According to the site of the Grand Chancellery of the Legion of Honor, foreigners can be decorated if they have “rendered services” to France, “encouraged causes that it defends” such as the defense of human rights , or within the framework of State visits “under diplomatic reciprocity” and in order to support “the foreign policy of France”.
President Macron thus awarded the Grand Cross to the Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg in 2018, according to the Elysee. The kings of Spain, the Netherlands or Morocco and several presidents, including the Russian Vladimir Poutine (2006) and the Polish Bronislaw Komorowski (2012), had also received it.
France has also initiated under Emmanuel Macron a procedure to withdraw the Legion of Honor to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad due to the civil war in this country since 2011 and the bloody repression initiated by the Damascus regime.
The latter, who had been made a Grand Cross by Jacques Chirac in 2001, finally returned it after Paris took part in the strikes against Syria in April 2018.
For President Sissi’s visit, the ceremonies at the Invalides and the Arc de Triomphe, the arrival at the Elysee Palace for the state dinner or the meeting with the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, were also not open. to French televisions and international agencies.
“On a state visit, the Quai d’Orsay sets the accreditation protocol, including for the Town Hall sector. There was no accreditation authorized, the Quai did not. did not wish “, declared in this regard a close friend of Anne Hidalgo to ..
But the executive denies having given instructions to the various hosts of President Sissi. “The only instruction on this visit was that everyone managed their communication”, we assure the Quai d’Orsay