Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has suffered a setback. Following the cancellation of his visit to Moscow, scheduled for May, his long-awaited visit to Paris on 16 June has been postponed indefinitely under pressure from certain French political forces

Algeria: Tebboune unwelcome in France

AFP/LUDOVIC MARIN - Abdelmadjid Tebboune
photo_camera AFP/LUDOVIC MARIN - Algeria's President Abdelmadjid Tebboune

While Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune's state visit on 2 May was cancelled on the Algerian side by the country's real leaders, the generals of an army that is becoming increasingly influential on the political scene, this time the cancellation has come from the French side, where the Algerian president is considered not to meet the criteria for a state visit to Paris. 

The representative of the Algerian military junta, the real holder of power in a country in a spiral of repression of all political and/or social protest, has been the target of many grievances. 

Among the reasons why Tebboune is not wanted in France are the incessant human rights violations committed in a country where everything must obey the finger and the eye of the all-powerful military authorities. Not a day goes by without citizens being imprisoned on charges of "inciting an unarmed assembly", "attacking state security" and "attacking an official body". More than 500 people are currently languishing in the prisons of the Tebboune-Chengriha duo, and more than 2,000 others are on probation. Fifty-one political activists have been sentenced to death and a further twenty to life imprisonment. Never before have human rights violations reached such levels in the Maghreb region as they are today in Algeria. In the words of a former activist, "Algeria, once described as the Mecca of revolutionaries, is now the tomb of revolutionaries". 

PHOTO/AFP - Imagen de Departamento de Redacción de medio argelino
PHOTO/AFP - Image by Algerian media editorial department

In addition to human rights violations, Algiers is accused of many inconsistencies in the development of its relations with France. While Tebboune is conciliatory and even accommodating towards France, the military tends to retain a certain hostility towards the former colonial power. It is simply a matter of maintaining the goodwill of an army that claims to be patriotic in the face of a population that is unanimously anti-military.  

Very recently, according to the creators of this "fake", a false scoop, produced by the intelligence services and published by two national newspapers, brought together "France and the two traditional enemies, Morocco and Israel, whose secret services had met in Israel to draw up a plan to destabilise Algeria by provoking riots in four Algerian departments, Algiers, Oran and the two major cities of Kabylia, Tizi-Ouzou and Beja√Įa".  

Many observers saw in this "crazy Franco-Israeli-Moroccan plot" a desire on the part of the military to interfere with Tebboune's upcoming visit to Paris and, above all, to discredit Tebboune in the eyes of his "friend" Macron. Whatever they say, they have succeeded in their manoeuvre. Even the occupant of the Elys√©e no longer believes in Tebboune. "What's the point of signing agreements and protocols with a man who makes no decisions and is incapable of keeping his promises," Emmanuel Macron must have thought.  

In the end, Tebboune managed to alienate the French political forces that do not like him and his military godfathers who want to torpedo his relations, fragile as they are, with the French president. 

AFP/LUDOVIC MARIN - El presidente francés Emmanuel Macron (izq.) asiste a un banquete organizado por el presidente argelino Abdelmadjid Tebboune (der.) en el palacio presidencial de Argel
AFP/LUDOVIC MARIN - French President Emmanuel Macron (left) attends a banquet hosted by Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune (right) at the presidential palace in Algiers

This latest cancellation of his planned visit to Paris comes on the heels of another cancellation. That of Moscow. Putin, who knows the ins and outs of the Algerian regime well, did not see fit to receive a hesitant Tebboune, who did not know which way to turn. Sometimes he looks to Macron. Sometimes he plays the Russian card to the hilt, spending most of his army's budget on Russian junk while making eyes at Washington. In short, Tebboune, who is new to diplomacy, does not know exactly what he is doing and behaves like an ordinary citizen in the world of the big boys. 

Thus, after his forced absence from the Arab League summit in Jeddah (the Saudis made it clear they did not want him there), and after being ignored by the BRICS, which he wanted to join, Tebboune has suffered two more diplomatic setbacks, namely the cancellation of his visits to Moscow and Paris. He tries to compensate for these setbacks by making Algerians believe that obtaining a seat as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council is a great diplomatic success. However, this seat was obtained without the slightest opposition or effort. 

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