Algerian Diplomacy, The Only Insight Into The Arab Crises
The chapters of Syria’s return to the Arab League after more than a decade of isolation and sanctions have come to an end without it being possible to ascertain whether these decisions achieved the objectives for which they were taken. The Syrian crisis has once again exposed the failure of the Arab League’s approach to dealing with Arab-Arab crises.
The history of Syria with the Arabs, from the decision to isolate it to its return, underlined the effectiveness of a political solution and dialogue to overcome all difficulties on the basis of a just and lasting solution to internal problems, while respecting the principle of sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of states.
This is the approach that Algeria has always advocated, remaining faithful to its moderate beliefs and playing the role of a reliable and neutral mediator in resolving Arab crises in order to avert Arab fragmentation, as demonstrated by the positions that Algeria has taken in many crises, especially those that have been devastated by the so-called Arab Spring.
Algeria refused in 2011 to join the NATO forces bombing Libya to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi, contrary to what some Arab countries did, led by the Kingdom of Morocco, a member of the Arab Maghreb Union. Algeria denounced the arming of the conflicting parties at the beginning of the Libyan crisis and warned that one of the repercussions of this step is not only on the internal security and political situation, but also on the security of the region and neighboring countries.
Algeria’s warnings in 2011 came true throughout the years of the crisis, as the international community, led by the United Nations, failed to put an end to the chaos of arms proliferation, despite all the efforts and decisions taken to disarm the militias.
Keeping the same distance from the conflicting parties was a position that Algeria adopted in the Yemeni crisis, refusing to participate in the so-called Operation Decisive Storm in 2015 and involving the Algerian army in military strikes on Yemeni territory, on the basis of a constitutional article that obliges the Algerian army not to engage in any battle outside the borders of the state, in addition to Algeria’s conviction, since the beginning of the crisis, that everyone should return to dialogue with all the main parties that make up the Yemeni equation.
Despite the annoyance of some Arab capitals with the Algerian positions, Algeria, thanks to the independence of its political choice, did not forsake its principle in dealing with these files and refused to include them in calculated regional schemes, as was the case in 2017 after all the Gulf states announced the severing of their diplomatic relations with Qatar.
And on the basis of its historical positions, particularly in its relations with the Arab House, Algeria, during the deterioration of Gulf relations, defended the need to open a dialogue in accordance with the principle of good neighborliness, describing the differences as circumstantial and expressing its certainty that wisdom and prudence would prevail in the end.
Algeria’s role was not limited to adopting peaceful political positions, but it also took the initiative in mediating in many cases and was able to put an end to several crises in Arab and Islamic countries, such as the settlement of the border dispute between Iraq and Iran in 1975, the dispute over the Shatt al-Arab, known to Iran as “Arvand Rud”. Algeria, along with some Arab countries, also tried to mediate between Iraq and Kuwait in the 1990 Gulf crisis.
The return to the adoption of peaceful solutions to overcome Arab differences, in order to avoid aggravating the conflict, has proved to be the right approach that the Arab League must follow as a compass in dealing with internal crises in a timely manner, in order to block the way of the global powers that want to turn the Arab land into an arena for achieving their interests at the expense of the Arab peoples.