Diplomatic setbacks are occurring at an alarming rate. So much so that the Algerian regime has decided to boycott all international conferences, even those organised by friends and allies such as Russia. The latter has just inflicted a slap in the face on its former ally that it did not expect

The 6th Arab-Russian cooperation conference in Marrakesh to Algiers' displeasure

PHOTO/TWITTER/X/MAROC DIPLOMATIE/@MarocDiplomatie – Aziz Akhannouch y Vladimir Putin
PHOTO/TWITTER/X/MAROC DIPLOMATIE/@MarocDiplomatie – Aziz Akhannouch and Vladimir Putin

Tomorrow, Wednesday 20 December, the 6th Russian-Arab Cooperation Conference will open in Marrakech. This conference will bring together the Foreign Ministers of the Arab countries with their Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, in accordance with the agreement signed in 2009 by the Arab League and the Russian Federal Republic. 

All in all, an ordinary meeting were it not for the venue chosen by Russia in April 2019 for the 5th edition, which was held in Moscow. This was long before the Tebboune-Chengriha duo came to power and relations between the two countries soured.  

The choice of Marrakech means that the conference will now be held without Algeria's participation. It is a way for Algeria's leaders to express their discontent and disappointment to their Russian "friends". Having not yet digested the rejection of Algeria's candidacy to join the BRICS, even though they had pinned their hopes on Moscow, the Algerians have just suffered a second slap in the face from their traditional ally, who chose the one they consider to be an ally of the Americans. As a result, the Moroccans have redoubled their efforts to win the friendship of the world's two biggest antagonists. A feat of Moroccan diplomacy that has not gone down well with its Western neighbour. 

Clearly, barring any last-minute surprises, the regime in Algiers will boycott this meeting, just as it boycotted the 47th Arab Police and Security Leaders' Conference in Tangier on last 6-7 December.  

This is not the first time that the Algerian government has boycotted meetings held in countries with which it no longer supports Morocco. For example, it boycotted the Arab-Islamic summit held in Riyadh on 11 November, which was devoted to the situation in Gaza and provided an opportunity for all states supporting the Palestinian cause to call for a ceasefire and the breaking of the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip. Algiers has always proclaimed loud and clear its support for the Palestinian cause. But when it comes to joining other states in officially and effectively defending this cause, it remains silent. 

Algiers also boycotted the Dubai-organised Cop 28 from Thursday 30 November to Tuesday 2 December. Not the slightest representation at any level. As if the leaders were angry with the whole world. Algeria's leaders seem to be excluding themselves from the international scene, where they feel they have no place.