Algiers and the Arabs, a conflictual relationship!

The Algerian authorities have reason to rejoice: Just the fact that an Arab summit, whatever the level of representation, is being held in their country, is already a feat to be celebrated.

In theory and given the conflicting relations that the Algerian regime maintains with most Arab countries, organizing an Arab summit on Algerian soil is a sinecure, even a high-risk diplomatic misadventure.

With Saudi Arabia, a heavyweight country in the Arab world, relations are terrible. Before knowing the information on the “health” of Crown Prince Mohammed Ben Salman, Algiers, under Iranian influence, cultivated strategic differences over the war in Yemen or the desire to rehabilitate Palestinian Hamas as an agent of Iranian influence in the region.

We find the same disagreements with the United Arab Emirates on the Libyan file where the Algerian regime applied itself to carrying out a Turkish agenda in this country.

In the Gulf countries, the Algerian regime, under Iranian influence, had tried to impose Syria’s return to the Arab League. Approach considered premature, fulfilling a contradictory agenda with the current interests of Arab countries.

With Egypt, relations are on the verge of a public breakdown. In its vital standoff with Ethiopia over the sharing of the waters of the Nile, Algeria has sided with the Ethiopians, giving a deadly claw to the very principle of Arab solidarity.

And when we know that the future of the Egyptian people, its economy and its well-being largely depends on the volume of water that the Ethiopian Ennahda dam will let through and that the Algerian regime openly encourages Ethiopia in its aggressive policy and blackmail with regard to Egypt, we understand the bitterness of the Egyptian presidency which sees Algiers more as an adversary than as an Arab ally.

Another point of friction between the two countries, the artificial Algerian interventionism in the Palestinian dossier, considered by geography as an area reserved for the Egyptians, has widened the gap between the two countries. The Algerian regime boasts of having obtained a photo bringing together the president of the Palestinian authority, Mahmoud Abbas and the head of Hamas Ismaël Haniyeh… but everyone knows that this opportune agreement, like those which preceded it, is ephemeral and has a lifespan limited by the political marketing time of the protagonists.

Even with regard to its Mauritanian and Tunisian neighbours, Algiers permanently exerts a balance of power of security and economic blackmail. “The friendship of these two countries with regard to Algeria is more constrained than really chosen”.

Animosity towards Morocco, the state religion

With regard to the Moroccan neighbor, animosity is elevated to the rank of state religion. For decades, the Algerian regime has been arming a separatist movement, the Polisario, whose assumed objective is to weaken Morocco and undermine its chances of development. Despite the many hands extended by the Kingdom, the Algerian regime has locked itself into an autistic posture. For Algiers, regardless of the price, regardless of the requisitioned Algerian resources, the only thing that counts is the blocking of Moroccan development. This has become such an obsession within the Algerian regime that the phobia of Moroccans within its army is pathological.

In such a context of tensions and differences with most Arab countries, the holding of the Arab League summit in Algiers is in itself an event and an achievement. Because if there is a country currently which carries in its diplomacy the genes of divisions and breakers between Arab countries, it is well Algeria.

Ironically, the Algiers summit carries the banner of reconciliation and unification of Arab nations in a country known to aggravate dissension and throw oil on the fire of ruptures. This situation, full of contradictions, gives the impression that the Algerian leadership lives outside the diplomatic time of the Arab world.

From this summit in Algiers will undoubtedly be born no enterprise of reconciliation towards anyone, but it seems clear today that if the Algerian regime wishes to organize it, it is much more to cling to a supposed international legality which will help it to acquire credibility at the internal level, where the Algerians strongly contest it as shown by the fears of seeing the Algerian Hirak start again.

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