The relationship between France and Algeria is a path strewn with pitfalls. But under the presidency of Abdelmadjid Tebboune and General Said Chengriha, it is up and down. From surprise to surprise, from rupture to patching up… such is the very particular relationship between Algeria and France.
Indeed, the relationship between Paris and Algiers will always be as specific as it is unpredictable. Even when the agenda of a state visit is inscribed in institutional marble, the two countries are not immune to a last minute cancellation. Moods and differences dominate.
This is what has just happened between Abdelmadjid Tebboune and Emmanuel Macron. The two men spared no effort in trying to stage a magnified relationship between the two countries. An important visit by Macron to Algeria, followed by the visit of half of the government led by Elisabeth Borne. Then came a spectacular and unprecedented visit by the Chief of Staff of the Algerian army Said Chengriha to Paris.
Emmanuel Macron had made the Algerian tropism a distinctive sign of his two terms. He openly aspires to be the first French president to achieve unprecedented developments in the field of memorial reconciliation. To achieve this goal, he said he was ready to accept the whims of a regime that was nevertheless contested and unpopular.
The organization of this famous state visit by Abdelmadjid Tebboune was part of this panoply of seduction implemented by Paris to soften the Algerian regime. Everything was going like diplomatic clockwork when the accident happened. The pure and simple cancellation of this state visit by the Algerian president to France.
In the absence of an official explanation of this cancellation, the analyzes leave in conjuncture. Between those who affirm that the cancellation came from the Algerian army which takes a very dim view of the absence of its boss Chengriha in the cast of this important visit and those who claim that it is a question of divergences on the security conditions of this visit and the ban on demonstrations by Algerian opponents in Paris…
Others, to lighten the magnitude of the shock, evoke a business agenda stuck between May Day and a French society that continues to rumble.
All hypotheses are evoked to explain this serious leap back in the honeymoon between Paris and Algiers. From the real similar to the improbable.
But the most rational hypothesis and the closest to reality would be linked to political differences between French and Algerians on what is commonly called regional crises. It is not at all excluded that the Algerian regime formulated, in the preparatory phase of this visit where the result and the final communiqué are being prepared and concocted, demands that are impossible for French diplomacy to satisfy.
And when we recall that for the Algerian military regime the only file which obsesses it and mobilizes all its means is that of the Moroccan Sahara, it is not excluded that this state visit by President Tebboune came up against this crisis and the concessions that Algiers asks of Paris and that French diplomacy refuses to give.
It is well known that the Algerian strategy focuses its activity on the Sahara affair and that the regime misses no opportunity to blackmail its partners to make it evolve in the direction of its interests. And the whole question that arises today: What this Algerian regime failed to achieve with Spain in its showdown, did it try to replay it with France on the eve of an important visit to ‘State ?
This new deal in relations between Algeria and France will give rise to a new psychodrama and will add a new sequence to the string of crises that characterizes these relations.
What political lessons will President Emmanuel Macron, who seems to have mortgaged all of his relations with the Maghreb countries through an inexplicable Algerian empathy, learn from this new crisis? A single political evidence: The Algerian regime is to political responsibility and to the word of a credible state what the generic is to real medicine. A management of affairs by whims and moods without any sense of the State, without any long-term vision and which, by dint of weather vanes, embarrasses all its allies and its environment.
Emmanuel Macron will have to, against his will, revise his vision and his relations with the Maghreb countries to bet on the real ramparts instead of continuing to bet on windmills.
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