Double Algerian diplomatic setbacks in Manama and Caracas

Obsessed with its Western neighbour, the Algerian regime continues to suffer setbacks on the international stage. This time it is the Arab League's turn to strike a new blow 
Foto de familia de la Liga Árabe - PHOTO/TWITTER/@MarocDiplomatie
Arab League family photo - PHOTO/TWITTER/@MarocDiplomatie
  1. Morocco's UN representative puts his Algerian counterpart in his place in Caracas

After the CAF Cup scandal and the Moroccan team's jersey affair, the Berkane Renaissance, which ended in a major failure before the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which rejected all Algerian claims, it is now the turn of the League of Arab States to inflict a biting slap in the face of the Algiers regime. 

Although it has never taken the initiative to raise the question of the Saharawi territories under Moroccan sovereignty, Algiers proposed, on the occasion of the 33rd Arab summit, that this issue be included on the agenda of the El-Manama meeting. Even when it hosted the 3rd summit in November 2022, Algeria had not thought of raising the issue for fear of a rejection synonymous with affront in its own fiefdom.  

Predictably, the Organising Committee of the Bahrain summit, which opened on Thursday 16 May, did not mince its words. It categorically rejected the Algerian proposal on the grounds that "this issue will not be discussed or haggled over", according to sources close to the Arab League General Secretariat. The rejection of this proposal is justified by "respect for the sovereignty of states and support for their stability". 

It should be recalled that no member country of the League of Arab States recognises the Saharawi republic proclaimed on Algerian territory in February 1976. This republic has no territory, passport or currency, and its budget is financed by Algeria without being mentioned in the annual finance law or discussed in the Algerian National Assembly.  

Logically, Algiers expected its proposal to be rejected. And if it had gone out of its way to present it, it was only to justify President Tebboune's absence at this meeting of Arab heads of state, where he would feel uncomfortable. It was also to make amends to the Bahrainis who, like most member states, boycotted the Algiers 2022 meeting. 

Morocco's UN representative puts his Algerian counterpart in his place in Caracas 

As diplomatic failures do not come alone, and this is neither the first nor the last snub by the Algerian regime, Algeria's permanent representative to the UN, Amar Bendjama, was ridiculed in the middle of the meeting by his Moroccan counterpart, Omar Hilal, in Caracas, during the C24 seminar held from 14 to 16 May.  The Algerian diplomat had come to the seminar to lend his support to the Polisario separatists. However, the agenda of this seminar contained several points that Mr Bendjama seems to have forgotten. 

The Moroccan representative began by reminding his Algerian counterpart that his place was not in Caracas but in New York. "The Arab Group that elected you to represent the Arab countries in the Security Council would have wanted you to stay in New York to defend the Palestinian cause," he reminded him. He added: "You do not assume the responsibility for which the international community elected you to the Security Council, but you have preferred to give priority to your national agenda, that of Algeria, over the Moroccan Sahara issue".

As for the Saharawi question, for which the Algerian diplomat had come to preach, the Moroccan Omar Hilale reminded him that "we are here because Algeria refuses to return to the third round table of the political process. You talk about peace, but you refuse to assume your role of being responsible for a situation that has lasted half a century. It is your country that is responsible for the freezing of efforts to resolve this regional dispute" And without taking off his gloves, the Moroccan representative tells his interlocutor: "You spoke of the settlement plan and the referendum, but you forget that the Security Council buried it a quarter of a century ago. Your diplomacy, Mr Ambassador, suffers from dwarfism syndrome". 

Omar Hilale habla en la Sede de las Naciones Unidas durante la 78ª Asamblea General de la ONU - PHOTO/JOHN LAMPARSKI/NURPHOTO/NURPHOTO VÍA AFP
Omar Hilale speaks at UN Headquarters during the 78th UN General Assembly - PHOTO/JOHN LAMPARSKI/NURPHOTO/NURPHOTO VIA AFP

This means, he continued, that "Algeria stopped in 1991 with the settlement plan. Since then it has not evolved. Your country has not seen the world evolve. It has not seen the Berlin Wall fall. It has not seen that 107 countries support the Moroccan autonomy initiative. You pretend not to see the number of consulates opened in the Moroccan cities of Laâyoune and Dakhla". 

"Algeria has not seen that the Security Council has moved from the settlement plan to a political solution, which requires negotiations between all parties. Nor has it seen the same resolutions inviting it to return to the round-table process, to which it persists in saying NO! While Algeria participated in the first two round tables, it says NO to the third, despite the Security Council's demands", Omar Hilale concludes. 

The Algerian diplomat had no response to these Moroccan reprimands, which were logically expected, given the lack of arguments. And this is unfortunate for Algeria, whose diplomacy was one of its strong points when Algeria's voice was heard in religious silence in the concert of nations. There was a time!