The Makhzen Mobilizes The Franco-Moroccan Lobby To Aggravate Algerian-French Relations
After the toxic Moroccan attempts to limit Algeria’s drive to regain its position and reputation, the Makhzen system resorted to mobilizing some of its elite symbols and one of the most influential cultural faces in France, represented by the well-known writer Tahar Ben Jelloun, to hit the efforts of the Algerian-French rapprochement, which has recently relapsed.
Al-Makhzen, obsessed with the fear of the side effects of the normalization of relations between Algeria and Paris on its interests, took advantage of recent developments to attack the French parties seeking to restore relations with Algeria, led by Emmanuel Macron, whom he described as “the naive”.
The background to this outrageous description by a Moroccan intellectual who is fluctuating in the bliss of France (member of the board of trustees of the French-speaking Goncourt Prize), according to which Macron was not convinced of the impossibility of establishing quiet relations with Algeria, except after the recent events that affected bilateral relations (cancelling Jean Castex’s visit), after about a year of the efforts to restore it, as stated in an article he wrote in a newspaper close to the Moroccan Palace.
Ben Jelloun opened his article with a phrase that contained many suggestions: “President Macron is very naive. He discovered just days ago, that there will be no peace between France and Algeria”, but he contradicts himself when he hastens to say that all the presidents who preceded Macron to the Elysee Palace,“ believed that they could establish normal relations with Algeria, but they were all disappointed.” So are all Macron’s predecessors gullible?
The Makhzen is certain that any normalization of Algerian-French relations will necessarily be at the expense of Rabat’s relations with Paris, and it is afraid of what the regime in the western neighbour, which is based on French support in many files, especially the Sahara issue. Therefore, Ben Jelloun, who is known for infiltrating the French culture, media and political circles, wants to convince the Parisian salons that the Algerian side is not ready to establish stable relations with the former colony.
“None of them (former French presidents) have managed to reduce the permanent tension between the two countries. Official Algeria does not want to normalize relations (with France)”, says Ben Jelloun, who found no justification for his conviction, except for what the Minister of Labor and Social Security, Hachemi Djaboub said recently:“ France is the traditional and eternal enemy of Algeria”, the phrase that is considered by the Makhzen intellectual, a message to the French Prime Minister and his accompanying delegation that they are not wanted in Algeria.
Ben Jelloun, and behind him the Makhzen fawning over France to avoid being led by the “mirage” of normalizing its relations with Algeria, because whoever decides on this latter “sows hatred against France, which is doing everything to calm the war of memories .. through their pursuit of pushing Paris to feel guilty about its painful colonial past”.
The Makhzen’s intellectual concludes addressing the French public opinion, trying to despair of any potential rapprochement: “Morocco can tell France”, and he refers here to the congestion between the two countries over many files, such as “the opening of the borders, the issue of the Sahara ..”, all this to invite Paris to follow the example of Washington in recognizing the alleged sovereignty of Morocco over Western Sahara.