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France's Foreign Affairs Minister Michele Alliot-Marie speaks to the media …
Foreign Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie defended herself Wednesday over claims by a French newspaper that the owner of a private jet she borrowed on holiday last year was an associate of ousted Tunisian president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali.
Martine Aubry, First Secretary of the French Socialist Party, seized on the claim on Le Canard enchainé weekly while speaking on French radio Wednesday.
In late 2010 Alliot-Marie, allegedly used a private jet belonging to Tunisian businessman, Aziz Miled, who according to the paper is a member "of the Ben Ali clan".
The minister pooh-poohed the claim Wednesday, telling journalists at the Quai d’Orsay that “these Tunisia polemics have become ridiculous”.
Alliot-Marie, who is widely referred to by her initials, offered Tunisia French know-how in maintaining order before the Ben Ali was toppled. She believes herself to be the victim of what has been branded in the fFrench media as “Mam-bashing”.