Algeria is backpedaling again in the case of the expulsion of an Israeli official from a meeting of the Summit of Heads of State of the African Union (AU). After seeing it claimed to be the cause of his expulsion, the fear of a backlash has changed the official discourse.
The Algerian press was quick to cry “victory” by claiming to have succeeded in having “Israel” excluded from a meeting of the summit of heads of state of the African Union, which has been held since Saturday, February 18, in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
In other media, the nuance is made on the subject of the exclusion which would have even concerned the “delegation of Israel” of this meeting.
In an article titled “AU Summit: Algeria Expels Israeli Delegation”, the media close to Amar Belani (current secretary general of the Algerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Tout sur l’Algérie (TSA), says, advancing its sources, that it is indeed Algeria that would have kicked out an Israeli diplomat.
” New snub for Israel in its attempts to infiltrate African institutions and new victory for Algeria which seeks to avoid the + break + within the African Union because of the Israeli presence »the outlet said.
“According to our sources, it was Algeria that initiated the action that allowed the exclusion of the Israeli delegation. In fact, it was the invitation sent to the Israeli ambassador by the AU that was canceled, but the latter + tried to enter by force +, which he failed to do, according to the same source”says TSA.
The Algerian media explains for its part that the summit of heads of state “has decided to suspend the admission of Israel” and to set up a committee of seven heads of state to issue recommendations on this issue, of which Algerian Abdelmadjid Tebboune and South African Cyril Ramaphosa are part.
Indeed, the AU has still not decided definitively on the question of the admission of Israel as an observer member since 2021, nevertheless, Israel has an official invitation from the AU as such and Sharon Bar-li, the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s deputy director general for Africa, presented an official badge to the security services called in by Algeria and South Africa.
It is these two countries, otherwise known as the “axis of evil”, which are working to undermine all the positive initiatives within the African Union in order to keep control of the Institution that they controlled at different levels over the past two decades.
At the level of the Israeli press, this episode was presented as a “diplomatic incident” taken “very seriously” in Israel, which claimed that ” the incident will not remain without follow-up”.
The country denounced this expulsion, accusing Iran of being behind this “serious” measure with the complicity of Algeria and South Africa, according to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
A spokesperson for Israeli diplomacy, on condition of anonymity, told AFP that this expulsion remains “serious” because Ms Bar-li had “valid accreditation as an observer”.
“It is sad to see the African Union hostage to a small number of extremist states like Algeria and South Africa, motivated by hatred and controlled by Iran”, said the Israeli spokesman.
Following these declarations and the fear of reprisals, Algeria is in search of support and no longer claims to be at the origin of this expulsion.
According to Professor Tarik Hajjab, citing a statement by the Secretary General of the Algerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Algeria is hiding behind other countries which are also against the idea of having Israel as an observer member. Algeria would no longer assume its eternal position of hatred against what it calls “the Zionist state”.
“It is a strategic error to think that Algeria was the only one to oppose the presence of Israel at the headquarters of the African Union. We are only one member like all members and everyone wanted to exclude Israel, including countries that have normalized,” quoted Mr. Hajjab in a Youtube video.
And to denounce the reports which “would only speak of Algeria and South Africa to make them bear the responsibility”.
However, the statements of the Algerian representative are not corroborated since none of the so-called countries which according to him would be against the status of observer member of Israel expressed itself officially, nor took position.