France to expel Togolese envoy in tit-for-tat row
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France has decided to expel a Togolese diplomat after the first secretary at the French embassy in Lome was told to leave, accused of developing close contacts with a Franco-Togolese presidential candidate.
AFP - France has decided to expel a Togolese diplomat in retaliation for a similar move by Togo's leaders, the French foreign ministry said Tuesday.
The first secretary at the French embassy in Lome was reportedly told to leave after Togolese leaders accused him of developing close contacts with presidential candidate Kofi Yamgnane, who has dual Franco-Togolese citizenship.
Yamgnane, who served as French junior minister for integration in the early 1990s, plans to challenge incumbent Faure Gnassingbe for the presidency in elections in February. Gnassingbe has been in power since 2005.
"We confirm the decision by Togo to request the departure of our first secretary at the French embassy, Eric Bosc," said foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero.
"France has taken a reciprocal measure and has asked a diplomat from the embassy of Togo to leave," he added.
The spokesman did not confirm that the expulsion was linked to Yamgnane, but said Bosc had "never overstepped his mandate" and had shown "a high degree of professionalism in his contacts with all legal political parties."
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