Bouraoui’s Case Is Exacerbating, And The French Authorities Remain Silent
So far, and despite the fact that almost a week has elapsed since the burning issue of the smuggling of Amira Bouraoui, the French side has not dared to comment on this issue, which has led the Algerian side to summon the ambassador, Said Moussi, from his work in Paris for consultations, which indicates that the French authorities have not found any justification that can be uttered.
The official spokesman for the French Foreign Ministry, François Delmas, when asked earlier about his country’s position on Algeria’s recall of its ambassador in Paris, refused to comment, but added to confirm that the French side is committed to “continuing to work to consolidate our bilateral relations with a renewed partnership”, as he put it.
Are the French authorities unaware of the seriousness of what the DGSE has done? This may be the case, at least among some of its diplomatic elites, which, if confirmed, would widen the gap between the two countries and increase the level of tension in bilateral relations after a few months of stability.
The former French ambassador to Algeria, Xavier Driencourt, believes that the actions of his country’s authorities in the case of Amira Bouraoui go to the heart of the work of diplomatic missions. He even goes so far as to downplay the issue by claiming that the worsening crisis between Algeria and Paris is the “invention of the Algerian press”. He doesn’t even consider it a “case”.
Driencourt says: “If the Algerian press is to be believed, Algerian-French relations have been damaged, whereas I do not see this as an issue. The smuggling issue was invented by the Algerians (Amira Bouraoui). But I do not think that the French secret services have a role to play in this incident, because it is not part of their remit,” he said on the French TV5 website.
For the former French ambassador to Algeria, all that matters is that what France did, did not go beyond exercising its right to so-called “consular protection” for a person of French nationality. And if Paris had not done so, it would have been criticized for not exercising this protection at its own discretion.
This is how a French diplomat who was twice ambassador to Algeria sees the Bouraoui case. There is therefore a wide gulf between the two sides’ interpretations of what happened last week, and this fact would prolong the crisis.
The Algerian side is fully convinced that what Paris has done is an act that is not based on any legal or customary justification and considers the participation of French diplomats, consular officials and security agents in the illegal smuggling of an Algerian citizen wanted by the justice system to be an attack on national sovereignty.
According to the Algerian side, there are legal norms that undermine the arguments put forward from time to time by political and media circles in France. Amira Bouraoui’s mother is of Algerian nationality, and even if this woman had French nationality, this would not justify her smuggling and travel on Tunisian soil, as long as it was under judicial control, according to legal experts.