Paris-Algiers axis noticed accelerated and abrupt events with an escalation that foreshadows something that is not going well behind the walls,and these events come at a time when it is rumored that bilateral relationships are stable.
The first incident is the decision by the Algerian authorities to withdraw the security guard, which Paris was used to provide to the French embassy, consulates, institutes and cultural centers in Algeria, in a precedent that the country has not undertaken since the 1990s, an information for which no official statement has been issued so far.
Algeria’s decision is a reaction, or “reciprocity” according to diplomatic norms and according to some observers, because of a similar position that was taken by the French authorities last weekend, because these were built on non-response to a request that was made by Algeria, to strengthen the security guard in front of its embassy in Paris to face protests that were led by some of the Algerian opposition.
Algerian position indicates an undignified anger towards the French side, because the lifting of security guardianship for the French after nearly three decades of submission is not easy, and such a position can not be read except by the fact that channels of dialogue have been cut off or because the current changed between Algeria and Paris.
The second incident is the honoring of French President Emmanuel Macron, on Friday, of a group of “Harkis”, a term that is used to describe the Algerians who worked alongside the French army during the liberation revolution, and he signed a decree that give the rank of knight of honor to six harkis, which is the highest level of honor that is granted by the French state, and the promotion of four figures to the degree of national merit with a rank of officer and 15 others to the rank of knights.
The decision comes a week after the French president’s decision to apologize and ask for forgiveness from the family of Algeria’s friend Maurice Audin, who was kidnapped and then assassinated by French paratroopers in Algeria in 1957, in a move that was described as unfair.
If the Algerian authorities consider the case of Harkis as a purely French issue, meaning that those Algerians who served France between 1954 and 1962 have nothing to do with their country of origin since they decided to leave the country with the French army, but such a position raises questions about the seriousness of Macron’s move last week, which remains symbolic because of being labeled as transitional by all Algerians.
The third matter is the lively dialogue between Bernard Bajolet, the former French ambassador to Algeria and the former director of the General Directorate for External Security, which was published by Le Figaro, a French newspaper close to the right wing, in which he attacked Algeria and presented a different vision to the intentions and directions of the French President, Emmanuel Macron, on the issue of memory, which is one of the sensitive files between the two countries, which often poisoned the bilateral relationships.
Bajolet went further in his conversation when he spoke of the Algerian side’s implicit demand to uncover the remains of French soldiers who were killed by the National Liberation Army during the revolution, and also spoke of a “real obstruction” in the Harkis case, statements that could be considered an implicit attack on the last step by Macron.
Although Bajolet currently has no official status in the French government because he was removed from his position as French Foreign Intelligence Officer, last year by Macron, but his statements can not be isolated, at least as a man who is very close to the decision-making circles in Paris.