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Tebboune, persona non grata!

The Arab summit in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, was unquestionably a diplomatic success. Unlike the Algiers edition of November 2022, the political representation of Arab countries was of a very high level. Morocco was represented by Prince Moulay Rachid.

On the other hand, one of the peculiarities of this summit, the very noticeable absence of the Algerian president, Abdelmajid Tebboune, whose country held the rotating presidency of the council of the Arab league.

Logically, the Algerian president should have been in Jeddah to pass the baton of the presidency to the King of Saudi Arabia, Mohamed Ben Salman. It is the political protocol that dictates such an attitude. Especially since one of the great breakthroughs of this summit was the return of Syria to the Arab League, a cause for which Algerian diplomacy had sold this impression of having spent itself without counting, if only on the media plan, to achieve this objective.

However, Abdelamjid Tebboune was spectacularly absent from this summit. And it is neither by political choice nor by diplomatic conviction. Knowing the sad passions of the Algerian president for diplomatic bluster and the fabrication of chimeras, the Algerian president would never have missed such an opportunity to put himself on the stage and try to sell the illusion of Algeria’s great comeback on the scene. international diplomacy.

The Algerian press had tried to disseminate elements of language that would justify such an absence. A first explanation is that the Algerian president wanted to give back to the Saudi authorities who had ostensibly shunned the Arab summit in Algiers. A second explanation had tried to cling to the political decision taken at the last minute to invite the Ukrainian president, Vlodomir Zelensky, which would have provoked the ire of the Algerian regime. A decision taken according to Algerian explanations without consulting the Algerian presidency.

All these explanations weigh nothing in the absence of Abdelamjid Tebboune at the top of Jeddah. The real reason is a strategic decision taken by the Saudi authorities to tell the Algerian president that he was simply persona non grata at this Arab summit.

His presence and the diplomatic cinema to which he would have even involuntarily indulged would have spoiled this great political mass where the Arab countries were not only to welcome Bashar El Assad’s Syria, but also to unfold the new Arab diplomatic sequence in an attempt to settle and position themselves on major regional crises.

The barometer of this exclusion was undoubtedly the Algerian refusal to react positively to the numerous Saudi attempts to reconcile Morocco and Algeria. And the message that had dominated these attempts is the following: When one harbors such gratuitous antagonism towards a neighboring Arab country like Morocco, when one is so hermetically closed to all attempts at mediation, even – they the work of the country guardian of the Holy Places, we automatically put ourselves on the sidelines of a minimum of Arab consensus necessary for the success of the summit of the Arab League.

Moreover, this position of defiance of the Saudi authorities against the Algerian regime was reflected in the preparatory phase of this summit. The Algerian regime was not associated with any stage of its political development. This reflects at least the little credit and esteem that these maneuvering Gulf countries have for this Algerian regime.

This Arab summit came to underline the great loneliness and the terrible diplomatic isolation of the Algerian regime, unable to have normal relations with its environment. Break with Morocco, tensions with Spain and the European Union, periodic nervous breakdowns with France to the point that Tebboune’s visit to Paris next June seems seriously compromised, distrust of the administration which threatens him with sanctions for his close links with the Russian war machine, deaf tension with Vladimir Putin to the point that Tebboune’s visit to Moscow scheduled for last May is postponed indefinitely…

The Algerian regime seems to have unwittingly developed a strategy that produces hostilities and ruptures. Abdelamjid Tebboune, who was counting heavily on this international streak to secure a second term in the next presidential elections next year, should review his calculations and his priorities. The regime it embodies today is in the situation of the besieged, a situation as dangerous for the Algerians themselves as for their immediate environment.



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