Algeria and Tunisia Survive A French-Engineering Diplomatic Crisis
Algeria did not fall into the trap of the diplomatic crisis with neighbouring Tunisia, which would have occurred following a well-plotted French crisis, which worked to create discord, against the background of the French illegal, unofficial, secret and unilateral decision to exfiltrate an Algerian national wanted by the Algerian judicial services, from Tunisia towards Lyon, in a way that violates the international laws and the sovereignty of states.
In this regard, the officials of the two countries remarkably expanded their contacts in the past few days to confirm the importance of strengthening bilateral relations, without reference to what has become known as the “Bouraoui exfiltration” case.
Algeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ramtane Lamamra, made a phone call with the new Tunisian Foreign Minister Nabil Ammar, and congratulated him on his recent appointment to the head of the Tunisian diplomacy, wishing him success in performing his noble duties. The two ministers also communicated on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of the events of Sakiet Sidi Youssef and what this common legacy represents for the two brotherly countries and peoples, according to the Tunisian Foreign Ministry.
The Tunisian Foreign Ministry affirmed that “the heads of diplomacy of the two countries praised the qualitative development in the brotherly relations and cooperation between Algeria and Tunisia in light of the permanent care and special support it enjoys from President Abdelmadjid Tebboune and his brother, President Kais Saied, and with this opportunity, they renewed their determination to continue efforts towards enhancing political coordination and economic integration to serve the interests of the two countries and advance their common goals at the regional and international levels.
Only 24 hours after assuming the position and his first call with his Algerian counterparts, Minister Ammar Nabil received the Algerian ambassador to Tunisia, Azouz Baalal. The Tunisian Foreign Ministry said about the meeting that it “represented an occasion to emphasize the depth and strength of the bonds of brotherhood and cooperation between Tunisia and Algeria, and the need to work to embody the will that guides the leadership of the two countries towards strengthening the bilateral cooperation to reach a comprehensive and sustainable strategic partnership.”
After another 24 hours, the Tunisian diplomacy official met with Minister Lamamra, on the sidelines of their participation in the “High-Level Jerusalem Resilience and Development Conference” held at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo. During the meeting, they reviewed the course of bilateral relations between the two brotherly countries and ways to further enhance and enrich them.
On the Algerian side, Minister of Communication Mohamed Bouslimani ruled out the possibility of the relationship between Algeria and Tunisia being affected by the Bouraoui case, stressing that “Algerian-Tunisian relations are strong, especially in the last three years, and will not be disturbed by media ramifications with known goals, by the French media that did not like it along with its godfathers that Algeria is the master of its decisions,” adding that “Algeria chose to be next to Tunisia in all the meaning of the word.”
Bouslimani explained, in press statements, that “after the desperate attempts of the French press to exploit the case of the fugitive Bouraoui to destabilize the strong and fraternal relations between Algeria and Tunisia, the President of the Republic, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, and keen on the strength of the relationship between the two peoples, decided to issue an order to facilitate the passage of Tunisian citizens, and not to obstruct them to enter Algeria through the border checkpoints, and therefore President Tebboune closed this issue permanently”.
The strength of these relations between the two countries is not a secret, which is confirmed by politicians on both sides, and proven by international analyzes and reports, as stated in an American study by the American Institute of Peace at the end of last January, that Algeria would intervene again to support Tunisia from economic collapse, relying on the financial comfort as a result of the increase in incomes due to the Russian-Ukrainian war.
The study says that Algeria’s financial flexibility allowed it to provide aid to its eastern neighbour, represented in a loan of $300 million in 2021 and an additional $300 million ($200 million in addition to a $100 grant) in 2022, as this package of financial aid coincided with the cessation of the rescue series of the IMF loan to Tunisia.