Signs of rapprochement between Paris and Algiers at the expense of Morocco

The tense and cold relations between Paris and Rabat do not seem to be moving towards appeasement and positive change significant for both countries. The signs of deterioration are linked to hostile positions in Morocco and a dangerous rapprochement with Algiers. Are France and Algeria getting closer at the expense of Morocco?

Signs of a rapprochement between Algiers and Paris have been given on one side and on the other, after President Emmanuel Macron’s state visit to Algeria and the fifteen French ministers who traveled “symbolically” to Algeria. at the end of 2022, in a context where Algeria was going to be ranked on the list of countries supporting Russia against Ukraine. France’s support at that time saved Algeria from the worst.

Algerian ministers should also go to France soon to seal this new relationship between the two countries linked by a history of bloody colonization, a painful past that Algerians do not forget and for which France will not apologize, according to a recent interview with Emmanuel Macron.

Despite urgent requests for apologies from the Algerian side, the French president gave a definitive answer to this memorial question. Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune swallowed the legendary pride of Algerians, their “Nif”, and accepted this refusal of excuses from France because another file more important in the eyes of the military junta is at stake: The Sahara.

Algeria seeks at all costs to counterbalance the balance and the distinguished relations between France and Morocco. It has the wind in its sails since France needs gas and needs to find a way to redeploy in the Sahel and in Africa more widely and the Algerian borders, with Niger, Mali and Libya seem perfect for this.

Algeria can also count on the bias of Emmanuel Macron, who has made several state visits to Algeria, including the first of his two consecutive terms, while he has made no official visit to Morocco apart from that for the inauguration of the TGV or a private visit.

The bias of the French president was confirmed with his insistence on settling “fissa fissa” the memorial file and the return of some combatant skulls even if it turned out later that their origin was not guaranteed and that they could also be “Harkis” (Algerian traitors who fought for France).

Algerian leaders knew that these skulls were not all Algerian and that among them were those who killed other Algerians during the war. They still played the game by presenting them in coffins wrapped in Algerian flags, to take pictures and deceive them.

It doesn’t matter if they are fighters or “Harkis” for Algerian leaders! Because their real objective is elsewhere and they are ready to hunker down, give away their gas and serve their petrodollars, to get what they want from France.

The rapprochement between Algiers and Paris reached a new level this week with the trip to France of the head of the Algerian army, Saïd Chengriha, and his reception by Emmanuel Macron.

This visit is “highly symbolic”underlined the French press agency, because the last visit of an Algerian chief of staff to France dates back to 17 years ago and that Algeria is known to be the ally of Russia and not of the ‘West.

No other information on the subject was given either by the French presidency or by the generally very well-informed press, and not even a photo with Emmanuel Macron was taken.

The event was however unusual since never an Algerian military leader was welcomed at the Elysée Palace and even less to deliver a letter from President Abdelmadjid Tebboune to his French counterpart, something that could (and should) have been done by the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

This meeting suggests an agreement on military contracts between Algeria and France. In a context of tensions with Morocco, it is to be wondered if France will arm Algeria which has not hidden its bellicose intentions vis-à-vis the Kingdom. The Algerian president made this clear in an interview with French media, saying that if he hadn’t suspended diplomatic relations with Morocco he would have declared war on it.

The colossal increase in Algeria’s military budget in 2023, which will double to $23 billion this year, now finds its explanation. Algeria cannot stop buying arms from Russia but must buy from Westerners to appease them and avoid appearing on the list of countries that financially support the Russian war machine.

If the hypothesis of the purchase of weapons in Paris were to be confirmed, France’s turn towards Algeria to the detriment of Morocco would also be confirmed, since we know for whom these weapons and the articles for charge against Morocco by a certain French press would also be explained.

There is no doubt that the unanimous vote for a resolution against Morocco by MEPs from the French presidential party is linked to this affair, not to mention Emmanuel Macron’s silence on the subject, on the pretext of supposed non-interference, whereas this resolution is flagrant interference in the internal affairs and justice of a State.

The President of the Spanish government, Pedro Sanchez, present at a France-Spain summit, answered the question for his part, and indicated that his party voted against the resolution of the European Parliament.

In such circumstances, and Rabat observing from afar, it is difficult to imagine an appeasement between Morocco and France or relations getting off to a better start, and the visit of the French president to Morocco seems compromised for the moment since the Kingdom has been clear on its positions, and no longer accepts a double game and even less when it comes to its national cause.

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