Contrary to appearances and speeches, the standoff launched by Algeria supposed to put pressure on Spain to bring it to change its position on the Sahara issue, is only a smokescreen. The Algerian regime circumvents its “embargo” against Spain by passing through a third country.
Decided in June 2022 following Spain’s new position on the Sahara, which explicitly recognizes that the autonomy proposal is the only solution capable of resolving the conflict, the dummy “embargo” of Algeria presented in the form of a withdrawal from the Treaty of Friendship and Good Neighborliness, could not last.
Indeed, a few weeks later already, Algeria realized its dependence on essential Spanish products such as raw materials for medicines and other components necessary to maintain Algerian industry.
Same thing for military equipment, since the Algerian regime had to find a way to continue to get supplies from its Spanish suppliers without this being made public.
Algeria is keen to maintain the image of a strong country sticking to its guns, but in practice trade relations with Spain continue. They now pass through an intermediary which is none other than Portugal, this allied country of Spain which also receives part of the Algerian gas and where President Abdelmadjid Tebboune made his first trip to the West of the year.
“Several Algerian security sources confirm to us that spare parts for several very sensitive telecommunications equipment used massively by the Algerian Army come from Spain”, revealed Maghreb intelligence which affirms that the Algerian army was the first to imagine this stratagem to obtain Spanish products.
The same source continues that Spanish suppliers have been sending their parts and components for the benefit of the Algerian army via Portugal for several weeks. Portuguese intermediaries have been selected to receive the products and send them back to Algeria.
A whole organization with the sole aim of keeping the international face. Except that this is neither the first nor the last time that Algeria has shown its irrationality and inconsistency, particularly in the management of its foreign policy, and this has been accentuated since the “appointment” of Abdelmadjid Tebboune to the post of President of the Republic.
Over the past two weeks, Algeria has committed two major diplomatic blunders, one of which will certainly cost it the little sympathy that certain states still showed it. Tebboune’s official visit to Russia in the midst of the war with Ukraine was a huge diplomatic misstep because of statements favorable to Vladimir Putin who was presented by the Algerian president as the friend of humanity.
As soon as Abdelmadjid Tebboune returned, Algerian diplomacy had to activate to rectify the situation by going to reassure Western circles. The head of Algerian diplomacy, Ahmed Attaf was corrected in Berlin and tried to convince Serbia to no longer support Morocco in the Sahara issue by making a comparison with Kosovo.
Algeria does not recognize Kosovo even though it is a Muslim majority country, on the pretext that it does not encourage separatism. However, Ahmed Attaf sought to convince his counterpart to support the Polisario separatists while Serbia suffers from the separatism that led to the creation of Kosovo and logically supports Morocco in preserving its territorial integrity.