France at a crossroads in the Maghreb!

French media literature on the Maghreb today poses this question in the form of a challenge: Is it possible to have a political threesome between Rabat, which demands historical clarification, Algiers, which blackmails structural friendship, and Paris? who no longer knows where to turn? Never have relations between France and the Magreb been so intertwined and so close to dislocation.

Ironically, despite a bilateral crisis that has lasted for decades, sanctioned by a break in diplomatic relations and the closure of land and air borders, Morocco and Algeria do not have an ambassador in Paris. A shocking political cliché that inspires all comments. An unprecedented situation which raises questions about the future of this special relationship between Paris and the capitals of the Maghreb.

A simultaneous diplomatic vacancy which seals even more the media destiny of the two countries but which focuses the light more on the French diplomatic choices with regard to the Maghreb and which challenges its approach frontally. This shows how urgent it is to rectify the situation and clarify the issues under penalty of generalizing the ruptures between Paris and this region of the Maghreb, so vital for the interests of France and Europe.

And if there is a man who must have a headache from spinning these Maghreb diplomatic plans in his head, it is President Emmanuel Macron. The Elysée tenant thought he had clearly mapped out his plan for the region.

An Algerian tropism assumed because of what the former French ambassador to Algeria Xavier Driencourt calls “the memory trap”, Emmanuel Macron had bet on the Algerian regime of the Tebboune-Changriha duo and had ostensibly displayed a deaf ear to Morocco’s legitimate demands. .

When in full Algerian enthusiasm of President Macron, voices were raised in France to invite him not to try to reach Algiers at the risk of losing Rabat, the French president did not seem receptive to these requests. He contented himself with dispatching his Minister of Foreign Affairs, Catherine Colonna, to put some balm on the hearts of Moroccans.

In this attempt, the head of French diplomacy reiterated the traditional position of France, which since 2007 has believed that the option of autonomy was serious and credible, but did not utter the magic words that Moroccans were waiting for, namely that the autonomy proposed by Morocco is the only possible solution in this crisis, which would be tantamount to recognizing de facto Morocco’s sovereignty over its Sahara.

Paris had held this clear obscure position to satisfy the demands of its new ally, Algeria. But what has just happened around the Amira Bouraoui affair, even if it is generally accepted that it is only the visible symptom of a deeper crisis, must logically call into question French choices on the Maghreb.

This media boiling and these threats of ruptures with France brandished by the Algerian regime, must necessarily challenge the centers of diplomatic decisions in Paris.

And Emmanuel Macron, intoxicated by the obsession to leave a trace in the history of relations between France and Algeria, particularly in the field of memorial reconciliation, voluntarily inflicted political myopia on this region to the point of not fail to adopt relevant and realistic approaches that guarantee the excellence of the strategic partnership between France and these Maghreb capitals.

In the end, not wanting to anger Algiers, Paris is reluctant to respond favorably to Rabat’s demands. Today Paris risks losing Algiers and Rabat and finds itself at the crossroads of difficult choices with the Maghreb.

The policy of chiaroscuro, the temptation to hold the handle in the middle, the extremely delicate little game of balancing act practiced by French diplomacy in this region is no longer appropriate. New power relations and new regional equations have made it obsolete.

The ball is now in Emmanuel Macron’s court. The Algerian regime has shown its unstable side, its management by the mood of the major international issues to the point that the French services, which are thoroughly familiar with the Algerian issues, allow their annoyance to show by considering that the treatment of the current Algerian officials is more psychiatry than diplomacy.

With Morocco, the stakes are undeniably clear. Morocco asks France to live up to the stated ambitions of their strategic partnership and to recognize its sovereignty over its Sahara. This Moroccan request appears today as the only obstacle to Emmanuel Macron’s future state visit to Morocco.

The reasons invoked by French diplomacy for not daring to make this strategic choice are invalidated by the effervescence and diplomatic instability of the Algerian regime. In order not to continue to upset the Maghreb, Emmanuel Macron is summoned to make the right choices that go in the direction of regional stability and the economic interests of both shores of the Mediterranean.

Previous Post Next Post