For Algiers, Stéphane Séjourné will certainly continue at the head of the Quai d’Orsay the work of undermining anti-Moroccan where he excelled when he led the Renew group within the European Parliament.
Upon the announcement of the appointment of Stéphane Séjourné as Minister of Foreign Affairs in the government of Gabriel Attal, the Algerian press entered a form of diplomatic trance. Comments and analyzes are going well to underline the extent to which this choice goes in the direction of the interests of the Algerian regime and openly clashes with Moroccan interests and the trend of reconciliation recently anticipated in the Paris-Rabat axis.
This Algerian press, which is known to faithfully reflect the states of mind and moods of the multiple centers of power in Algeria, recalls with excitement and relish the very anti-Moroccan past of the new boss of the Quai d’Orsay. For Algiers, the choice of this man is a message from Paris addressed to Rabat according to which the state of distance, even rupture between Paris and Rabat will continue and why not worsen further with a man described as carrying the Algerian tropism of Emmanuel Macron.
This Algerian happiness at seeing Stéphane Séjourné occupy the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs is justified by the fact that the Algerian regime considers that a man who is politically attached to it is currently leading French diplomacy. For Algiers, Stéphane Séjourné will certainly continue at the head of the Quai d’Orsay the work of undermining anti-Moroccan where he excelled when he led the Renew group within the European Parliament. Rightly or wrongly, these comments from the Algerian press give rise to the perception that Stéphane Séjourné is in fact a chief lobbyist for Algerian interests in France.
Hence this collective excitement in Algiers, hence this feeling of general satisfaction as if this appointment were an Algerian diplomatic performance, a point scored against Morocco in the gigantic standoff that the two countries have been engaged in for decades.
In theory, this Algerian joy and this feeling of triumph are justified given the pedigree of Stéphane Séjourné who had distinguished himself in his European career by overflowing activism against the interests and image of Morocco. He was the French gunslinger identified to carry out this European campaign against Morocco to the great satisfaction of the Algerian regime which applauded with both hands and blew on the embers.
In practice, the risk of a great Algerian disappointment cannot be excluded. And this for many reasons. Firstly because France’s foreign policy in general and particularly relations with the Maghreb countries are made and developed at the Elysée by Emmanuel Macron who considers them a reserved domain and not at the Quai d’Orsay which appears as an execution device. Which means that if French diplomacy decides to continue this freezing phase with Morocco, this would be a choice and a decision of Emmanuel Macron and not that of Stéphane Séjourné, new minister of foreign affairs.
Stéphane Séjourné is a loyal supporter of the French head of state. He would not make any decision that was not consistent with the vision of his leader. This state of mind confirms for everyone that the anti-Moroccan activism of Stéphane Séjourné against Morocco in the European Parliament was far from being a fad or a sad passion of Stéphane Séjourné but rather a strategic choice of Emmanuel Macron, even if the latter denied having any influence on the European deputies, invoking the sacrosanct separation of powers. And despite these data which can install a pessimistic atmosphere in relations between France and Morocco and therefore postpone a return to normal indefinitely, there are hopes of seeing a return of warmth between these two countries, including with Stéphane Séjourné directing French diplomacy. Firstly because well before his appointment, Stéphane Séjourné had tried to get closer to the Moroccan authorities, then because his profile which contains this distrust towards Morocco imposes on him an urgent exercise of truth to burst the abscesses and start again on new bases. With Stéphane Séjourné, there is no room for tongue-in-cheek and diplomatic vacillations: either the continuity and worsening of the crisis or a major reconfiguration of relations between France and Morocco, with of course the satisfaction of demands being the top priority. of Rabat, particularly in the Sahara.
This article is originally published on aujourdhui.ma