Amidst a two-day visit to the United States, Algerian Foreign Minister Ahmed Attaf engaged in talks with his American counterpart, Antony Blinken, which unraveled into a contradiction regarding discussions on the Sahara.
While Blinken affirmed full support for the UN’s political process, Algeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs had stated that both ministers backed efforts for the conflicting parties to engage in the UN-led process without preconditions
Attaf met with his American counterpart, Blinken, on Wednesday, August 9, with discussions gravitating around the “partnership with Algeria and consultations on common priorities,” including the Sahel region stability and peace efforts in Ukraine.
According to a press release from the Algerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Blinken and Attaf “discussed the latest developments of the Western Sahara question and reiterated their support for the efforts of the Personal Envoy of the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Staffan de Mistura to make it possible for the two conflicting parties to take the United Nations-led political process seriously and without conditions.”
In a swift contrast, the US State Department issued a press release, reiterating the ministers’ endorsement of Staffan de Mistura’s consultations with all concerned parties, including Algeria, “to reach a political solution for Western Sahara,” without mention of conditionality.
Met with Algerian Foreign Minister @AhmedAttaf_Dz to discuss the U.S.-Algeria partnership and consult on shared priorities, including stability in the Sahel and a just and durable peace in Ukraine. We also affirmed our full support for the UN political process for Western Sahara.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) August 9, 2023
The two sides discussed regional developments particularly on the conditions in Niger, Mali, and Libya. They reaffirmed the consistency of their respective positions and their efforts to favor peaceful resolutions to these crises to spare the region the risks associated with the military option.
The two ministers also discussed the developments of the Palestinian issue considering the blockage of prospects for resuming the political process.