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Jeddah Arab Summit: The difficult Algerian equation

In a week is to be held the Summit of the Arab League in Saudi Arabia, a year after the fiasco of that of Algiers. This year, the stakes are higher and will address Syria’s return to Arab nations. Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, will he bow his head in the face of the latest humiliations that have been inflicted on Algeria or will he show “Algerian Nif” (ego)?

After the 31st Summit of the Arab League shunned by Arab heads of state, monarchs and heads of government organized by Algeria under the theme of “unification of Arab ranks” (when Algeria broke off its relations with the Morocco and refuses any mediation), a new Summit is being prepared in Saudi Arabia.

This event should consecrate the return of Syria to the Arab League, after work carried out on the initiative of Ryad which tried to convince all the countries reluctant to the return of Bashar Al Assad from Syria.

Algeria had tried to initiate the return of Syria the previous year, but had come up against the categorical refusal of member countries. In question, the lack of leadership of Algeria and its weak weight on the diplomatic chessboard. The country ruled by a rogue authoritarian regime has lost what little credibility it had left from when former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika was fit to govern.

However, with the forced coming to power of Abdelmadjid Tebboune, following an unprecedented popular uprising, unfriendly decisions towards Morocco have further widened the distance between Algiers and the Arab capitals which do not trust it. .

Algiers had a lot of trouble convincing the Arab States even to agree to come to the Summit. Moreover, its disguised program and agenda and the attitude of its president in an interview have signaled distrust of this regime which apparently wanted to impose its own program and ideas which do not represent the values ​​of the Arab League.

The problems between the Arab nations and Algeria were even more felt with the organization of this 32nd Summit chaired by Saudi Arabia. The Algerian regime was simply excluded from all preparatory meetings for the Summit, although Algeria was still the current president of the Council of the league.

The reasons for this sidelining are explained by Algiers’ desire to appropriate the diplomatic success of Syria’s return without having done the necessary work upstream. It was obvious that the Algerian diplomacy was unable to federate at the Arab level and that a heavy weight was needed to lead the discussions.

In addition, his acrimonious relations with Morocco and his childishness in wanting to say “no” to everything that is involved in Morocco, thus delaying the process, is one more reason explaining his sidelining during the last meetings which were to be quick and efficient.

Although it chaired the Council of the Arab League and, by virtue of this status, Algeria was to take part in the preparatory meetings for the next Summit, it was not invited to take part in the three meetings organized between May and april.

The first held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on 15 April was attended by the foreign ministers of the host country, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Bahrain, Kuwait, the Sultanate of Oman, Qatar, Iraq and Jordan.

No North African country was invited to this meeting on the question of Syria. Nevertheless, the same day, a telephone exchange brought together the heads of Saudi and Moroccan diplomacy.

Algeria protested against his exclusion through the press, where Algerian media cited anonymous close sources who expressed their anger.

The second meeting was held in Amman, Jordan, on May 1 and brought together the heads of diplomacy from the host country, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iraq and Syria.

The third emergency meeting, the most important, took place on May 7 in Cairo, Egypt, bringing together all the foreign ministers of the Arab League and it validated the return of Syria.

All these meetings were organized with the aim of studying the possibility and then of validating the readmission of Syria to the Arab League. Algeria was deliberately isolated from this process without invitation and without consultation.

Faced with all these diplomatic disappointments which bring out the extent of the tensions between the Algerian military regime and the Arab nations, it would be logical not to see the Algerian President, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, at the next Summit scheduled for May 19 in Jeddah. Will Tebboune have the courage to boycott the Summit? Or does he plan to go despite the offenses?

In any case, the Algerian press, citing close sources, criticizes “protocol clumsiness” and “unhealthy games” on the part of Saudi Arabia with regard to Algeria. The question of the presence of the Algerian president will mean either that he has kowtowed to Saudi Arabia, or that he is challenging it.



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