Envenomed diplomatic relations between Paris and Algiers, silent crisis between Paris and Rabat. France appears to be heading straight for a diplomatic failure in managing its ties with the two North African countries, with relations clearly deteriorating in recent weeks.
Several observers and connoisseurs of the Rabat-Paris relationship have assured that the partnership between the two countries is so strong and anchored that solutions will necessarily be found for complicated files. However, the Republic has increasingly unveiled its ambitions.opportunistswhich only threaten the stability of these links, particularly after the adoption of the famous resolution by the European Parliament.
Recall that last December, the head of French diplomacy, Catherine Colonna, went to Morocco with the aim of relaunching the various mechanisms of cooperation and coordination between the two countries, note that certain points of divergence have been resolved, but also with a view to preparing the official visit of French President Emmanuel Macron, postponed several times due to the tense situation between the two countries, when it was scheduled for early 2023. No specific date for this visit has been set. .
In addition, a press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Living Abroad reported last week on the decision to end the duties of Mohamed Benchaaboun’s ambassador to the French Republic. , which entered into force on January 19, the day on which the European Parliament approved its resolution, considered by the two Moroccan parliamentary chambers as an “offense to Morocco”.
The move came at a time when the two countries are going through what observers call a “silent crisis” or “cold crisis”. Tensions that emerged with the “visa crisis” in September 2021, the warming of Franco-Algerian diplomatic relations, with the trip of the French president and a dozen ministers, to arrive at the adoption of the resolution by the European Parliament condemning freedom of expression and the media.
Similarly, these new links between Paris and Algiers encountered pitfalls following the affair of the exfiltration of the Algerian activist Amira Bouraoui. Some Maghreb media have reported the hysterical reaction of Algeria, which has recalled its ambassador and used its official press agency to issue threats of an imminent severance of ties with France.
For Mohammed Nachtaoui, professor of international law at Cadi Ayyad University, “France is the victim of its double game against Morocco and Algeria. She wants to establish an opportunistic balance that wants to protect her interests in both countries, managing the balancing act according to her needs.“.
The professor explains, in a statement to MoroccoLatestNews, France always seeks to maintain the same distance with Morocco Algeria, taking into account certain sensitivities, adding that with Macron, “we noticed a clear trend towards Algeria“. The current needs of France emanate from the shortage of energy materials, in particular natural gas, in an icy world economic context due to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, he specified.
Moreover, Morocco has, since the recognition by the United States of its sovereignty over the Sahara, experienced a kind of “loss of its status as a privileged ally of France and sees itself harmed by the attitudes of President Macron and the vote of his parliamentarians within the European hemicycle“, says Professor Nachtaoui.
He mentions in particular:the French media charge against Morocco regarding the Pegasus Affair“, stressing that at the end of all these events, the professor sees “that the visit of the French president is slow to come for lack of compromise on the French attitude vis-à-vis Algeria and the Moroccan expectation of a giant French step on the Sahara issue“.