Home Politics Monitor When Algeria watches France head towards Morocco​
Politics Monitor

When Algeria watches France head towards Morocco​

The eleventh session of Algerian-French political consultations held last Tuesday in Algiers was, so to speak, an epic saga. After being postponed with a talent worthy of the best suspense series, this long-awaited meeting finally saw the light of day and was co-chaired by the illustrious Lounas Magramane and his French counterpart Anne-Marie Descotes.

This diplomatic meeting, held in an exercise of frank camaraderie which makes us forget almost all the accumulated delays, took place in haste the day after the visit to Morocco by Stéphane Séjourné, French Minister of Foreign Affairs. The reaction from Algiers was therefore not long in coming and, in a burst of bruised dignity, it proposed, with undisguised timidity, to add to the menu of its sterile discussions, the burning question of the Moroccan Sahara.

Thus, as part of a high-flying diplomatic exercise, the recent meeting offered a valuable opportunity to examine the state of health of political relations between the two countries as well as the vigor of bilateral cooperation. , embracing with insatiable curiosity the vast array of spheres of mutual interest – not least the economy and free movement of individuals.

This is evidenced by a press release “made in Algeria” from the spheres of Algerian diplomacy, which, with very formal subtlety, paints the picture of a cordial understanding in full swing. In the framework of these summit exchanges, where gravity mixes with strategy, a range of international and regional issues was unpacked, searched and debated with the meticulousness of a game of geopolitical chess.

Among the hot topics, the thorny issue of the Moroccan Sahara obviously stood out, closely followed by the complex security situation extending from the Sahel to the borders of Mali. We will not have overlooked, in this round of themes, the Middle East, where the Palestinian question, with the persistent humanitarian crisis in Gaza which resonated with the echo of an emergency which tolerates no indifference.

The famous well-informed source made in Algeria confirmed this mapping of shared concerns, testifying to dialogues as dense as they are crucial. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, Algiers, in an almost touching burst of spontaneity, decided to give the green light for high-level visits by French officials. A generous gesture of openness which comes, by happy coincidence, just after Morocco and France decided to strengthen their cooperation. What a coincidence !

Indeed, what a coincidence that France, this nation once so eager to embrace the Algerian cause, now seems to send sweet words to Morocco, leaving Algeria prey to a feeling of abandonment worthy of a Victor Hugo melodrama .

What a delectable irony to attend the diplomats’ ball, where polite smiles mask gnashing of teeth! Algeria, like a grieving ex-lover, bitterly observes its former torch, France, zealously courting Morocco. What could be more entertaining than this Shakespearean tragedy with geopolitical overtones?

We remember in December, in a moment of crystal clarity, Algiers expressed reservations about welcoming the French president, citing “not entirely ideal conditions”. However, as if by magic, after Séjourné’s visit to Morocco, Algiers seems to have had a revelation, suddenly saying it was ready to open its arms to President Emmanuel Macron. What a change in situation !

Algeria clings, with an outdated romanticism, to the principle of self-determination, hoping against all logic that a referendum can still take place, while the sands of time have long since covered the traces of those who should have voted . But let’s leave him this sweet dream, after all, what would diplomacy be without its chimeras?

On the other side of the Mediterranean, France, in all Moliéresque elegance, declares that it wants to “accompany Morocco in the development of the Sahara”. Oh, what a noble knight, ready to personally watch over this new commitment! As if the destiny of these lands was being played out in the golden salons of the Élysée and not under the relentless sun of the desert.

And while Algeria still hopes to influence the sovereign French resolution, we cannot help but think that these political dialogues are as fruitful as a dance in a masked ball where everyone already knows the music and the steps.

Regardless, Algeria seems ready to embark on this quest to unravel the mysteries of French engagement in Morocco. But behind this curiosity lies a broken heart, that of a country which still remembers the gentle caresses of France under the reign of Emmanuel Macron.

This article is originally published on fr.hespress.com

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