The Algerian ambassador to France “soon to return”
Algeria’s ambassador to France, recalled in early February following a falling out between the two countries over a Franco-Algerian activist, will “soon be back” in Paris, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has announced. , in a television interview.
Despite a ban on leaving the territory in Algeria, activist Amira Bouraoui entered Tunisia on February 3, before being arrested when she tried to board in the direction of Paris.
She was finally able to fly to France on February 6 despite an attempt by the Tunisian authorities to deport her to Algeria.
Algiers ruled that his departure for France constituted an “illegal exfiltration” carried out with the help of French diplomatic and security personnel, and recalled its ambassador to Paris, Saïd Moussi, for consultations.
“Our relationship with France is fluctuating,” said Mr. Tebboune in reference to this estrangement, during an interview on Tuesday evening with the pan-Arab channel Al-Jazeera. “The Algerian ambassador will soon be back in Paris,” he added, according to a report of the interview published by the official APS agency.
Ms. Bouraoui became known in 2014 for her commitment against a fourth term of then-president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, before getting involved in the “Hirak” protest movement. She was sentenced in June 2020 to one year in prison before being granted provisional release in July of the same year.
During the same interview, Mr. Tebboune “regretted that Algerian-Moroccan relations have reached this stage between two neighboring countries”. Believing that these relations had arrived at “a point of no return”, he affirmed that the Algerian position was a “reaction” in relation to actions reproached in Morocco.
Algeria severed its diplomatic relations with Morocco in August 2021 due to deep disagreements, in particular on the Western Sahara file, and the rapprochement between Rabat and Israel.
The question of Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony considered a “non-autonomous territory” by the UN, has for decades pitted Morocco against the separatists of the Polisario Front, supported by Algiers.
The government of socialist Pedro Sanchez in Spain decided in March 2022 to support the Moroccan autonomy plan for Western Sahara. In response to this about-face in Madrid’s traditionally neutral position, the Algerian authorities suspended a cooperation treaty with Spain in early June 2022.
Mr. Tebboune affirmed in the interview to consider “Spain’s position vis-à-vis Western Sahara as an individual position of the Sanchez government”. Trade between Algeria and Spain “continues and the majority is carried out by the private sector in the two countries”, also indicated Mr. Tebboune.
But many Spanish companies are hit hard by the suspension of the friendship treaty. During a visit, last week to Algiers, the head of the European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, felt that a solution should be found to “the obstacles” linked to the suspension of this treaty.
In addition, Mr. Tebboune judged during this interview that Tunisia, in the grip of serious political and financial crises, was “confronted with a conspiracy”, adding that “Algeria was at its side, no offense to some”