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French authorities said they have no relationship to the cartoons published in the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in a follow up of the Russian passenger crash in Egypt and stressed that they were among the first to offer their condolences over the Russian tragedy.
“The opinions expressed by the journalists in France are their free views and impose no obligations on the French authorities,” French Foreign Ministry spokesman Romain Nadal said in a statement on Friday.
He added that the French were among the first to offer their condolences over the tragedy in the skies above Egypt.
On Thursday, the magazine published two cartoons and a joke about the air crash over the Sinai Peninsula.
One of the pictures shows a jihadist of the Islamic State (IS) militant group and plane’s debris falling around him. The caption says “IS: Russian Aviation intensifies its bombing campaign.”
On the second drawing, a skull in sunglasses, lying on the ground amid the parts of the bodies and the plane’s debris, speaks about the dangers of flying with the Russian airline. The caption says: “The dangers of a Russian budget airline. I should have taken Air Cocaine.”
The cartoon apparently referred to what is known in France as the “Air Cocaine” affair, an incident with two Frenchmen accused of flying some 680 kilos of cocaine from the Dominican Republic into France.
The pictures have sparked public outcry and official criticism in Russia and an online a hashtag campaign #JeNeSuisPasCharlie (I am Not Charlie), in opposition to the original show of empathy to those killed in the January attack in Paris, this time lashing out at the outrageous mocking of the aircraft tragedy.
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