State of Affairs
After a decade of diplomatic and foreign policy quasi paralysis under the presidency of Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the new post-Hirak leadership under Abdelmadjid Tebboune has launched an all-out foreign policy to make Algeria’s diplomacy more dynamic and proactive with the objective of enabling Algeria to regain its influence both regionally and globally.
Foreign Policy Priorities
The main focus is on the immediate neighborhood, particularly Libya and the Sahel which are in a state of severe crisis. The reawakening of Algeria’s foreign policy has been met by many challenges: foreign interference in Libya has hindered Algeria’s mediation diplomacy, while in the Sahel executing the Algiers Accords has proved difficult. Meanwhile, the Moroccan-Israeli alliance has resulted in a near-war situation.
Foreign Policy Actions
The main aim of the foreign policy is to counter the Moroccan-Israeli alliance. To accomplish this, improvement in relations with Egypt and the GCC, not least the rest of the Arab world, has become critical. Maintaining good relations with the great powers and other states while preserving the tenets of Algeria’s foreign policy are the main drivers of the new foreign policy.
The Russia-Ukraine war has presented new opportunities for Algeria’s foreign policy thanks to its energy resources. Domestic reforms and wealth accumulation should help Algeria regain its influence in foreign affairs. Taking the lead in African affairs should be the top priority as should joining powerful groupings such as the BRICS.
In early 2019, the hirak, a nationwide peaceful movement, called for the removal of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. The military hierarchy forced him to resign thus preventing him from running for a fifth term. Elected in November 2019, the new President, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, was determined to revamp Algeria’s diplomacy; this was evident in his inaugural speech on 19 December 2019.1 One of the top priorities mentioned by Tebboune was neighboring Libya. He also reiterated Algeria’s support for national liberation movements and the right to self-determination for Palestinians and the Sahrawis. The new authorities in Algiers meanwhile complained that Algeria’s foreign policy had suffered in the last decade.2 Tebboune declared, in February 2020, that Algeria’s foreign policy would be “dynamic and proactive” and that this would secure the country’s status as a “regional power.”3 This explains the all-out diplomacy that began soon after Tebboune came to power.
This brief examines the main issues that the new leadership in Algiers has set as its priorities and how it has addressed them. The underlying thesis is that Tebboune’s leadership aims to overcome the immobility that characterized Algeria’s foreign policy and diplomacy during the last two terms of Bouteflika’s presidency and for Algerian foreign policy to regain its ‘golden age’ (1962-1978).4 The government seeks to do so while remaining true to the principles that Algerian foreign policy has maintained since the inception of the nationalist movement in the 1930s:5 national sovereignty, support for national liberation movements and the right to self-determination, noninterference in other nations’ domestic affairs, nonalignment,6 opposition to foreign military bases, military blocs, and alliances, and peaceful resolution of conflicts.7
Securing the Maghreb & Sahelian Neighborhoods: Algeria as a Mediator
The Maghreb and the Sahel are of utmost importance to Algeria; its three priorities being the conflict in Libya, tense relations with Morocco, and stabilization of the Sahel–particularly Mali.
Libya: Algeria’s Fear of Spillover and Partition
Feeling marginalized on the Libyan front, Algeria vowed that it would reject its “exclusion from the proposed solutions to Libya because it is the most concerned with the stability of the neighboring country displeases some.”8 The objective has been to assist in the reconciliation between Libyan forces, to reject the interference of all foreign forces, and to preserve Libya’s sovereignty. Algeria’s neutrality in the complex conflict between the Libyan parties and its potential role as a mediator led numerous states (Italy, Egypt, Turkey, Germany) to rely on its involvement to bring peace and stability to Libya, which resulted in Algeria’s participation in the 19 January 2020 international Berlin Conference on Libya.9 In pursuit of the Conference’s objectives, the Algerian government has taken many initiatives, such as close cooperation with Tunisia. The Libyan, Tunisian, and Algerian foreign ministers have met on numerous occasions, in hopes of achieving a consensual political solution.10
The protraction of the crisis in Libya, which shares a long border with Algeria, and the presence of transnational terrorist organizations threaten Algeria’s national security and energy interests in the south of the country.11 But attempts by Algiers to resolve the crisis peacefully have stumbled against players such as Egypt, its main rival in the region, the UAE, France, and, to a lesser degree, Russia,12 which supported Khalifa Haftar in the east, while Turkey supported the government in the west. To achieve its objectives, Algeria has recalled its Libya experts who had been forced into retirement after 2015.13 It has also revived its traditional links with powerful Libyan tribes.14 Algeria’s great expertise in mediation means it could play a major role in reconciling rivaling Libyan factions. In line with this, it could also call on support from Moscow and Ankara with which it has excellent relations.
Relations with Morocco: The Impossible Entente
In a 2019 interview, Tebboune insisted that “the Arab Maghreb […] is one of our concerns and we will support cooperation and friendly relations with neighboring countries.” However, tensions with Morocco over Western Sahara and other issues such as trade and security, for instance, remained serious impediments to a revival of the Arab Maghreb Union. As far as the new leadership was concerned, Bouteflika had neglected the question of Western Sahara by “instructing officials not to respond to any Moroccan hostile actions.”15 Thus, the appointment in September 2021 of a special envoy, Amar Belani, dedicated to the Western Sahara and the Maghreb,16 reiterated the importance that the politico-military establishment places on Western Sahara as a top priority for Algeria’s foreign policy. Belani, who served as ambassador to the EU, responds instantly, through the media, to what Algiers sees as Moroccan provocations.
Algerian – Moroccan relations went from bad to worse: first, after a Moroccan attack in November 2020 on Sahrawi demonstrators in El-Guergarat, the buffer zone in the south of Western Sahara.17 A month later, former President Donald Trump announced U.S. recognition of Moroccan sovereignty in Western Sahara as a trade-off for Morocco normalizing relations with Israel.18 Military and intelligence cooperation between Morocco and Israel, is perceived in Algiers as a threat to Algeria’s national security. However, Algiers’ threshold of tolerance against alleged Moroccan ‘hostile acts’ came in mid-July 2021 when Morocco’s ambassador to the UN distributed a note expressing support for the secessionist Movement for the Autonomy of Kabylia (MAK), listed as a terrorist organization by Algiers.19
Another hostile act in the eyes of Algeria was a vast spying scandal revealed by a consortium of international newspapers and human rights organizations. They found that Morocco had targeted more than 6,000 Algerians, including many senior political and military officials. This resulted in Algeria breaking diplomatic relations with Morocco in August 2021.20 Fears of a military confrontation were real.21 As pointed out, “the warming ties between Morocco and Israel bring this polarizing regional power into the delicate Maghreb power balance for the first time.”22 Due to increasing Moroccan-Israeli military cooperation, Algeria fears that it is targeted because of its refusal to normalize relations with Israel, its close ties to Russia and China, and its unconditional support to the Palestinian and Sahrawi causes.
Mediating Peace in the Sahel: Implementing the Algiers Accords in Mali
Algeria’s renewed presence on the African continent reflects the importance of the continent to Algeria’s foreign policy,23 the Sahel being the top priority.24 In Mali, Algeria endeavored to help resolve the crisis, offering its expertise to negotiate peace agreements between Bamako and the various opposition groups. Algiers continues to mediate and ensure the implementation of the Bamako agreement signed in April 2015.25 During his visit to Bamako in August 2021,26 the Algerian foreign minister Ramtane Lamamra, an expert on African affairs who had served as Commissioner for Peace and Security at the African Union, reaffirmed Algeria’s commitment to the implementation of the peace and reconciliation agreement in Mali, through continued dialogue with all parties.
The peace agreement brokered by Algeria constitutes the optimal framework for consolidating a return to lasting stability in Mali. Fearing further destabilization due to tensions between France and Mali, Algeria has sought to mediate a reconciliation between both sides.27 The issue of the Tuareg and their possible attempt at secession is of great concern for Algeria, which also boasts a Tuareg population. Algerian authorities fear a domino effect from Mali and Niger could destabilize Algeria.28
In the Sahel, in addition to its major role in the war against terrorism, Algeria’s regional political and economic activism is visible through the revival of the trans-Saharan gas pipeline project, which aims to export gas from Nigeria to Europe via Algeria. In February 2022, Algeria, Niger, and Nigeria signed the Niamey Declaration for the resumption of the 4,128-kilometer trans-Saharan gas pipeline project, which will link Nigeria to Algeria, via Niger.29 In July 2022, the three ministers of energy signed a memorandum of understanding to concretize the trans-Saharan gas pipeline project (TSGP).30 When completed, it could deliver 30 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually to European markets via Algeria and would supply inland stations along its route. For now, no indication has been given as to when this project will be completed. The pipeline will eventually allow Europe to diversify its gas supply in the wake of the energy crisis caused by the Ukrainian-Russian war while creating vital revenue streams for these African gas markets.31
The Arab League & Arabian Peninsula
Civil society, the media, and former officials have called on Algeria to leave the League of Arab States (LAS),32viewed as inept, particularly within the context of normalization between some Arab countries and Israel, the perceived betrayal of Palestinians, and its powerlessness in standing up to the West’s interventions in Arab states (Libya, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen). However, Algiers believed that it was time for an Arab Summit that would prioritize the Palestinian question.33 The challenge was to gather all Arab leaders at the Summit, overcome their differences, and develop common positions.34
Consequently, the Algerian president and his foreign minister toured the region to convince Arab states to participate in the summit scheduled for 1-2 November 2022. For the Algerian government, this summit would be yet another opportunity to further anchor its return to the Afro-Arab world. But, the five-way Egypt-led Arab summit, held in August 2022, in New Alamein35 that brought together Egypt, the UAE, Iraq, Jordan, and Bahrain, might have been perceived as an attempt to derail the November Arab Summit by Algiers.
In the Gulf region, Algeria has sought to improve bilateral relations at the political and economic levels, with some success, particularly with Qatar. In February 2022, Tebboune made a two-day state visit to Doha, where he attended the 6th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF).36 The objective of the visit was to convince Doha to attend the Arab summit in Algiers and to intensify economic cooperation. To that end, Algiers has been able to attract Qatari investment in tourism and steel projects.37
A month earlier, Kuwait’s foreign minister declared that Kuwait would attend the summit.38 Importantly, while in Kuwait, Tebboune declared that “Algeria would always defend the Gulf countries.” 39 In 2020, Tebboune traveled to Saudi Arabia.40 Clearly, Algeria seeks to establish good relations with the Gulf to offset the support the Gulf Cooperation Council provides to Morocco,41 and to attract much-needed direct foreign investment. However, unlike Algeria, whose ties with the GCC are limited,42 Morocco receives 40 percent of its foreign investment from the GCC.43 Trade between Algeria and the GCC in 2019 amounted to $1.7 billion.44
Algeria and Its European Neighbors
Policymakers determined to disrupt the status quo, that prevailed under Bouteflika, rose to power in the post-Hirak era. The shifting and resolute policy resulted in two major crises with France and Spain, respectively.
In October 2021, Algiers recalled its ambassador to Paris, Mohamed Antar Daoud, in reaction to comments by French President Emmanuel Macron who said that Algeria, after its independence in 1962, had been built on “a memory rent” maintained by “the political-military system.”45 The reaction of the authorities in Algiers was unwavering. They felt that this was an insult to Algerians, especially his questioning whether there was “an Algerian nation before French colonization?”46 Given the importance of Franco-Algerian relations, a return to normalcy eventually set-in after Macron’s re-election in April 2022. Macron’s three-day visit to Algeria, on the 25th through the 27th August 2022, dispelled some contentious issues.47 However, the question of memory might reemerge and cause yet another crisis.
The second ongoing crisis is with Spain, whose socialist government reneged on Spain’s neutrality in the conflict in Western Sahara, siding with Morocco to the detriment of the Sahrawis.48 Before the crisis, Algeria and Spain had excellent relations supported by the 2002 Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and Good Neighborliness. Spain’s sudden change of position—in violation of international legality—resulted in Algeria recalling its ambassador to Madrid, Saïd Moussi, suspending the Treaty of Friendship, and blocking commercial transactions, except for the export of natural gas.49
Although Italy has always had excellent relations, its close relations with Algeria have benefited further from the recent Algero-Spanish row. Thus, in July 2022, the two countries signed 15 agreements and memorandums of understanding during the 4th Algerian-Italian Intergovernmental Summit.50 The agreements cover a wide range of sectors, including the pharmaceutical industry, higher education, renewable energies, etc.51 With the war in Ukraine and Russian gas disruption, Algeria has taken on greater importance for Italy, while Algeria’s expectations are that Italy will invest in Algeria’s energy sector and other economic fields.
Algeria and the Great Powers
To ensure the effectiveness of its foreign policy, Algeria has had to balance its relations with the United States, its partner in the fight against terrorism,52 China, its main trading partner53, and Russia, its main arms’ supplier.54 In April 2022, Tebboune reasserted Algeria’s nonalignment, emphasizing that this does not mean being friends with everyone.55
The United States: The Fallout of the Abraham Accords
Algeria and the United States have both a Strategic Dialogue and a joint Military Dialogue which Secretary Anthony Blinken reiterated in Algiers in March 2022.56
However, Algeria’s foreign policy has often been at loggerheads with U.S. foreign policy (Vietnam, Iraq, Palestine, Western Sahara, Syria, Libya, among others).57 Since 2019, Algiers has become increasingly apprehensive of U.S. policy towards Algeria. The United States opposed successively the appointment of two former Algerian foreign ministers to serve as UN Special Envoy to Libya, Ramtane Lamamra58 and Sabry Boukadoum,59 respectively. These rejections bewildered Algerians.
But the most devastating blow to U.S.-Algerian relations is undoubtedly Trump’s recognition of Morocco’s sovereignty over occupied Western Sahara,60 which has not been rescinded by the Biden Administration, despite the United State’s paradoxical support for the UN process. Viewed from Algiers, the presence of Israel in Morocco, coupled with Spain’s volte-face on Western Sahara, signifies that the United States seeks to indirectly pressure Algeria to normalize relations with Israel. As noted, “Algiers views some of the Trump and Biden administrations’ policies to be harmful to Algeria’s vital interests and those of the greater Middle East and North Africa.”61 Algiers has reacted mildly to this development and the United States has sought to soothe its fears. Yet, Algiers’ deep concern that a Moroccan-Israeli alliance62 would result in shifting the regional balance of power will inevitably strengthen Sino-Algerian and Russo-Algerian relations.
Sino-Algerian Relations: Trade but not just…
Sino-Algerian relations have intensified since the 2000s with remarkable strides in the economic and trade spheres.63 In 2019, the total trade volume between China and Algeria surpassed $9 billion with China remaining the country’s leading supplier, representing 18.25% of Algeria’s imports.64 Trade between the two countries reached nearly $9 billion in 2019 and remained about the same in 2020 despite the pandemic. Algeria and China share many common foreign policy features, such as noninterference in others’ domestic affairs, South-South development, and nonalignment. However, geopolitical realities caused by the Abraham Accords and the Moroccan-Israeli military and intelligence cooperation have created a new political and military dynamic. China is gradually acquiring a large share of Algeria’s arms market due to Algeria’s continued diversification of its arms’ procurement. Algeria has acquired sophisticated Chinese weapons, like the CM-302 (YJ-12B) coastal defense supersonic missile in its land-to-sea version. This is plausibly a way of hedging China, which Algeria could rely on in case of military conflict with an Israel-United States backed Morocco.65
Algeria’s unequivocal support for China was confirmed with Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan on 2 August 2022. 66 Algeria reiterated its adherence to the one-China principle and hoped that the U.S. would abide by the three China-U.S. Joint Communiques67 and end its meddling in China’s internal affairs.68
Russia and Algeria: Neutrality on the Russia-Ukraine Conflict while Strengthening Ties
Since Algeria’s independence, Russo-Algerian relations have been strong and developed beyond the military domain.69 In Fall 2021, the two militaries conducted anti-terrorist drills in Russia’s southwestern city of Ossetia.70 On September 1-7, 2022, Algerian land armed forces participated in the strategic command and staff exercise “East-2022” in Russia, along with 13 other nations.71 In November 2022, Algerian and Russian paratroopers will hold anti-terrorist tactical military exercises in Hammaguir near Bechar in southwest Algeria.72
Regarding the Russia-Ukraine war, Algeria, which has maintained good relations with both countries, adopted a neutral position, advancing its “commitment to peace and the search for a negotiated solution.”73 In April, Algeria voted against the resolution at the UNGA calling for Russia’s exclusion from the UN Human Rights Council, 74 reiterating its permanent attachment to the rules and fundamental principles of international humanitarian law and the various international laws and charters.
Favorable to a negotiated solution, Algeria is part of the Arab Contact Group composed of the foreign ministers of Jordan, Sudan, Iraq, and Egypt, in addition to the Secretary General of the Arab League, which launched consultations with the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers in Moscow and Poland, respectively.75 Although Algeria insisted that sovereignty and territorial integrity of states should be observed, it also emphasized that the “legitimate security concerns of the parties concerned should be accommodated.”76 During his visit to Algiers in May 2022, Sergei Lavrov, who came to Algeria to reinforce cooperation between the two countries and to upgrade the strategic partnership signed in 2001, expressed his appreciation for Algeria’s balanced position in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.77
Since 2019, Algerian foreign policy has been intensely active to surmount the paralysis that characterized it in the last decade of Bouteflika’s presidency. In an attempt to restore the ‘golden age’ of Algeria’s foreign policy while keeping its main principles, Algiers seeks to demonstrate that it has diplomatic and economic roles to play both regionally and on the world stage.
Regional dynamics have forced Algeria to address domestic issues, strengthen its defense policy, and pursue an all-out foreign policy. The Russia-Ukraine war has empowered Algeria in the realm of energy as Europe seeks to reduce its dependency on Russia and have Algeria as one of the main natural gas suppliers. The Moroccan-Israeli military cooperation will remain the main preoccupation of Algeria’s foreign policy and the most salient threat to its national security, especially with Morocco’s decision to allow the construction of Israeli bases on its soil.78 This will inevitably result in closer rapprochement with its traditional partners, China and Russia.
Algeria will also continue its all-out diplomacy to signify its role as a middle power in the region to protect its interests, especially along its long borders. While balancing its relations with the great powers, Algeria will play its traditional mediation role79 in several conflicts, but also seek to strengthen relations with the Gulf states to ward off alliances. Algeria’s interest in integration with the BRICS,80 the grouping of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, could help it regain the place it had once occupied on the world stage.
1 France 24, “REPLAY- Allocation du président algérien Abdelmadjid Tebboune [Speech by Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune],” YouTube, December 19, 2019, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5w8aiV2GKg
2 Current and former government officials, interview by author, Algiers, Algeria, 2017, 2018, 2020, 2022.
Tebboune himself admitted openly that Algeria’s foreign policy and diplomacy had lost their aura since the 1990s. See Canal Algerie, “#DIRECT: Entrevue du president de la Republique. Abdelmadjid #Tebboune, avec la presse nationale [Interview with the President of the Republic. Abdelmadjid #Tebboune, with the national press],” Facebook, August 8, 2021 https://www.facebook.com/EPTVCANALALGERIE/videos/560998978587037.
3 Algérie Press Service, “L’Algérie adoptera une politique étrangère ‘dynamique et proactive [Algeria will Adopt a ‘Dynamic and Proactive’ Foreign Policy],” February 10, 2020, https://www.aps.dz/algerie/101415-plan-d-action-du-gouvernement-l-algerie-adoptera-une-politique-etrangere-dynamique-et-proactive.
4 Ardavan Amir-Aslani, L’âge d’Or de la Diplomatie Algérienne (Paris: Editions du Moment, 2015).
5 For an understanding of those tenets, see, Robert Malley, The Call from Algeria—Third Worldism, Revolution, and the Turn to Islam (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1996).
6 Assassi Lassassi, Non-Alignment and Algerian Foreign Policy (London: Dartmouth Publishing, 1988).
7 These principles can be found in the Algerian Constitution of 1976 (http://www.conseil-constitutionnel.dz/pdf/CONSTITUTION%201976.pdf). They are reiterated in the 2020 Constitution, (https://www.constituteproject.org/constitution/Algeria_2020?lang=en).
8 France 24, “REPLAY- Allocation du président algérien Abdelmadjid Tebboune [Speech by Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune],” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5w8aiV2GKg . See also, Tebboune’s interview, France 24, “Le président algérien croit à un “apaisement” de la situation avec la France [The Algerian President Believes in an “Appeasement” of the Situation with France],” YouTube, July 4, 2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bw4gjBmnDVk .
9 Frédéric Bobin, “Le réveil diplomatique de l’Algérie sur le dossier de la guerre en Libye [The Diplomatic Awakening of Algeria on the File of the War in Libya],” Le Monde, January 19, 2020, https://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2020/01/17/le-reveil-diplomatique-d-alger-autour-de-la-libye_6026213_3212.html.
10 Emirates Policy Center, “Algerian Mediation Project in the Libyan Crisis: Background and Prospects,” (Abu Dhabi: Emirates Policy Center, 2020), https://epc.ae/en/details/brief/algerian-mediation-project-in-the-libyan-crisis-background-and-prospects.
11 Yahia H. Zoubir and Djallil Lounnas, “L’Algérie face à l’arc des menaces en Libye et au Mali : Quelle stratégie? [Algeria facing the arc of threats in Libya and Mali: What strategy?]” The Maghreb Review, 44, no. 1 (2019): 58-90.
12 Yahia H. Zoubir, “The Protracted Civil War in Libya: The Role of Outside Powers,” Insight Turkey 22, no. 4 ,(November 2020): 11-27. https://doi.org/10.25253/99.2020224.01.
13 Government officials, interview. Algeria is one of the chief specialists in Libyan politics and society, including Libyan tribes, and still has access to important networks there.
15 Government officials, interview.
16 Meriem Houali, “Il a été nommé envoyé spécial chargé du Sahara Occidental et du Maghreb: Amar Belani, le diplomate que le Makhzen redoute [He was Appointed Special Envoy in Charge of Western Sahara and the Maghreb: Amar Belani, the Diplomat Feared by the Makhzen],” La Patrie News, September 5, 2021, https://lapatrienews.dz/il-a-ete-nomme-envoye-special-charge-du-sahara-occidental-et-du-maghreb-amar-belani-le-diplomate-que-le-makhzen-redoute/.
17 Souhail Karam, “Polisario Quits Western Sahara 30-Year Cease-Fire After Clashes,” Bloomberg, November 14, 2020, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-11-14/polisario-quits-western-sahara-30-year-cease-fire-after-clashes#xj4y7vzkg.
18 The White House, “Proclamation on Recognizing the Sovereignty of the Kingdom of Morocco over the Western Sahara,” December 10, 2020, https://trumpwhitehouse.archives.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-recognizing-sovereignty-kingdom-morocco-western-sahara/. /
19 Radio France Internationale, “Les propos d’un responsable marocain sur la Kabylie fâchent l’Algérie [The Words of a Moroccan Official on Kabylie Anger Algeria],” July 19, 2021, https://www.rfi.fr/fr/afrique/20210719-les-propos-d-un-responsable-marocain-sur-la-kabylie-f%C3%A2chent-l-alg%C3%A9rie.
20 Yahia H. Zoubir, “Why Algeria cut diplomatic ties with Morocco: and implications for the future,” The Conversation, September 14, 2021, https://theconversation.com/why-algeria-cut-diplomatic-ties-with-morocco-and-implications-for-the-future-167313.
21 Jean-Pierre Filiu, “Le risque en 2022 d’une guerre entre l’Algérie et le Maroc [The risk in 2022 of a war between Algeria and Morocco],” Le Monde, December 26, 2021, https://www.lemonde.fr/blog/filiu/2021/12/26/le-risque-en-2022-dun-conflit-entre-lalgerie-et-le-maroc/.
22 Anthony Dworkin, “North African Standoff: How The Western Sahara Conflict Is Fueling New Tensions Between Morocco and Algeria,” Policy Brief, (London, United Kingdom, European Council on Foreign Relations, 2022) April 2022, https://ecfr.eu/publication/north-african-standoff-how-the-western-sahara-conflict-is-fuelling-new-tensions-between-morocco-and-algeria/.
23 Algeria has launched new flights, reopened old ones, or increased flights to different parts of Africa (Senegal, Gabon, Niger, Ivory Coast, and Burkina Faso). It has also deployed an ambitious diplomatic and economic strategy on the continent. See, Saïd Boucetta, “Ambitions africaines [African ambitions],” L’Expression, August 15, 2022, https://www.lexpressiondz.com/nationale/ambitions-africaines-359573.
24 Yahia H. Zoubir, “Crisis in the Sahel: Causes, Consequences, and the Path Forward,” Issue Brief, (Doha, Qatar, Middle East Council on Global Affairs, 2022), https://mecouncil.org/publication/crisis-in-the-sahel-causes-consequences-and-the-path-forward/.
25 Mali Actu, “Mali: L’accord d’Alger 2015 : Ce qu’il faut en retenir [Mali: The Algiers Agreement 2015: What to remember], ” Mali Actu, accessed August 31, 2022, https://maliactu.net/mali-laccord-dalger-2015-ce-quil-faut-en-retenir/.
26 Embassy of Algeria in London, “Minister Ramtane Lamamra Pays a Working Visit to Mali,” accessed August 31, 2022, https://embassyofalgeria.uk/uncategorized/minister-ramtane-lamamra-pays-a-working-visit-to-mali/
27 TSA, “L’Algérie veut apaiser les tensions entre la France et le Mali,” September 3, 2022, https://www.tsa-algerie.com/lalgerie-veut-apaiser-les-tensions-entre-la-france-et-le-mali/
28 Yahia H. Zoubir and Abdelkader Abderrahmane, “Algeria in the Sahel: Stability and Security,” Politique Etrangère 87, No. 2 (April 2022): 119-130, https://doi.org/10.3917/pe.222.0119
29 Savannah Energy (@Savannah_Energy), “#Niger, #Nigeria and Algeria have signed the ‘Declaration of Niamey’,” Twitter, February 18, 2022, 3:46 a.m., https://twitter.com/Savannah_Energy/status/1494639385807052802
30 DW, “Algeria, Nigeria, Niger Sign MOU on Gas Pipeline to Europe,” July 28, 2022, https://www.dw.com/en/algeria-nigeria-niger-sign-mou-on-gas-pipeline-to-europe/a-62633283
31 African Review, “West African ministers sign Declaration of Niamey, get Trans-Saharan gas pipeline back on track”, February 18, 2022, https://www.africanreview.com/energy-a-power/power-generation/west-african-ministers-sign-declaration-of-niamey-get-trans-saharan-gas-pipeline-back-on-track.
32 Lyès Menacer, “L’Algérie doit quitter la Ligue arabe [Algeria must leave the Arab League],”Algerie-dz.com, October 28, 2021, https://www.algerie-dz.com/forums/algerie/8348190-l-algerie-doit-quitter-la-ligue-arabe.
33 In July 2022, Tebboune brought together PLO’s Mahmoud Abbas and HAMAS’ Ismaïl Haniyeh with the objective of reconciling the two movements. This was the first meeting of the two Palestinian leaders since 2007. See, Lilia Ait Akli, “Tebboune a réuni Abbas et Haniyeh : un pas vers la réconciliation palestinienne? [Tebboune brings together Abbas and Haniyeh: a step towards Palestinian reconciliation],”Le Jeune Indépendant, July 6, 2022, Tebboune réuni Abbas et Haniyeh : un pas vers la réconciliation palestinienne ? – Le Jeune Indépendant (jeune-independant.net) .
34 Nadia Kerraz, “Sommet arabe d’Alger les 1er et 2 novembre 2022 : Unifier les rangs réconcilier et poursuivre l’action [Algiers Arab Summit on November 1 and 2, 2022: Unify ranks, reconcile and pursue action], ” El Moudjahid Nation, March 11, 2022, https://www.elmoudjahid.dz/fr/nation/sommet-arabe-d-alger-les-1er-et-2-novembre-2022-unifier-les-rangs-reconcilier-et-poursuivre-l-action-179765 .
35 Al Ahram Online, “Egypt to host a five-country Arab summit on Monday in New Alamein: Jordanian TV,” August 21, 2022, https://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/1234/473555/Egypt/Foreign-Affairs/Egypt-to-host-a-fivecountry-Arab-summit-on-Monday-.aspx.
36 Algérie Presse Service, “Visite du président Tebboune au Qatar: approfondissement de la coopération bilatérale [President Tebboune’s visit to Qatar: Deepening Bilateral Cooperation],” February 19, 2022, https://www.aps.dz/algerie/135780-visite-du-president-tebboune-au-qatar-approfondissement-de-la-cooperation-bilaterale.
37 Asmahan Qarjouli, “Qatar, Algeria to dive into tourism, real estate investments,” Doha News, June 19, 2022, https://dohanews.co/qatar-algeria-to-dive-into-tourism-real-estate-investments/.
38 Algérie Presse Service, “Le Koweït confirme sa participation au prochain sommet arabe d’Alger [Kuwait confirms its participation in the next Arab summit in Algiers],” February 1, 2022, https://www.aps.dz/algerie/134899-le-koweit-confirme-sa-participation-au-prochain-sommet-arabe-d-alger.
39 Fatma Bendhaou, “Abdelmadjid Tebboune : ‘Ce qui touche le Koweït, le Qatar et l’Arabie Saoudite, touche aussi l’Algérie’ [Abdelmadjid Tebboune: ‘What affects Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, also affects Algeria],” Anadolu Agency, February 23, 2022, https://www.aa.com.tr/fr/afrique/abdelmadjid-tebboune-ce-qui-touche-le-kowe%C3%AFt-le-qatar-et-l-arabie-saoudite-touche-aussi-l-alg%C3%A9rie-/2511581.
40 M.B., “FIN DE LA VISITE D’ÉTAT DU PRÉSIDENT TEBBOUNE À RYADH : Nouvelles perspectives pour la coopération bilatérale [END OF PRESIDENT TEBBOUNE’S STATE VISIT TO RIYADH: New perspectives for bilateral cooperation],” Le Courrier d’Algérie, February 29, 2020, http://lecourrier-dalgerie.com/fin-de-la-visite-detat-du-president-tebboune-a-ryadh-nouvelles-perspectives-pour-la-cooperation-bilaterale/ .
41 The North Africa Post, “Gulf countries Reiterate Support for Morocco on Sahara Issue,” January 26, 2022, https://northafricapost.com/55174-gulf-countries-reiterate-support-for-morocco-on-sahara-issue.html.
42 Abdulaziz Kilani, “How the GCC Views the Algeria-Morocco Rift,” Gulf International Forum, September 15, 2021, https://gulfif.org/how-the-gcc-views-the-algeria-morocco-rift/.
43 MENAFN, “40 percent of foreign investment in Morocco are from GCC, with Significant Proportion Invested into Real Estate,” March 23, 2019, https://menafn.com/1098293858/40-percent-of-foreign-investment-in-Morocco-are-from-GCC-with-significant-proportion-invested-into-real-estate.
44 Compiled by the author from United Nations COMTRADE, https://comtrade.un.org/data/.
45 Le Monde & AFP, “Après trois mois de crise, Alger rétablit son ambassadeur à Paris [After three months of crisis, Algiers restores its ambassador to Paris],” January 6, 2022, https://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2022/01/06/apres-trois-mois-de-crise-alger-retablit-son-ambassadeur-a-paris_6108388_3212.html.
46 Sofiane Orus-Boudjema, “Algérie-France : y avait-il une nation algérienne avant la colonisation française? [Algeria-France: was there an Algerian nation before French colonization?]” Jeune Afrique, October 9, 2021, https://www.jeuneafrique.com/1247481/politique/algerie-france-y-avait-il-une-nation-algerienne-avant-la-colonisation-francaise/.
47 TSA, “Algérie-France: Tebboune qualifie de ‘réussite’ la visite de Macron [Algeria- France: Tebboune qualifies Macron’s visit as a “success”],” August 27, 2022,
48 Marcos Bartolomé, “Why is Madrid Pandering to Morocco?,” Foreign Policy, May 13, 2022, https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/05/13/spain-sanchez-morocco-polisario-western-sahara-algeria/
49 TSA, “Algérie-Espagne : de nouvelles retombées de la crise [Algeria-Spain: new fallout from the crisis],”July 20, 2022, https://www.tsa-algerie.com/algerie-espagne-de-nouvelles-retombees-de-la-crise/.
50 Algérie Presse Service, ”Algeria, Italy sign 15 MoUs, bilateral cooperation agreements,” July 18, 2022, https://www.aps.dz/en/economy/44356-algeria-italy-sign-15-mous-bilateral-cooperation-agreements.
51 El Moudjahid Nation, “4e sommet intergouvernemental Algéro-italien: 15 mémorandums d’entente et accords de coopération signés [4th Algerian-Italian intergovernmental summit: 15 memoranda of understanding and cooperation agreements signed],” July 16, 2022,
52 Yahia H. Zoubir, “The United States and Algeria: A New Strategic Partnership?” Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies (in Asia), 5, no. 4 (December 2011): 1-27, https://doi.org/10.1080/19370679.2011.12023188
53 Yahia H. Zoubir, “Sino-Algerian relations: The consolidation of a long-standing relationship,” Hybrid CoE Research Report 5, (Helsinki, Finland: Hybrid COE, 2022), https://www.hybridcoe.fi/publications/hybrid-threat-activity-in-the-mena-region-state-and-non-state-actors-seeking-status-and-expanding-influence/.
54 Pieter D. Wezeman, Alexandra Kuimova & Siemon T. Wezeman, “Trends in International
Arms Transfers, 2020,” (Stockholm, Sweden: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, March 2021), accessed September 4, 2022, https://sipri.org/sites/default/files/2021-03/fs_2103_at_2020_v2.pdf.
55 AL24news, “Les points forts de la rencontre périodique du Président Tebboune avec la presse [Highlights of President Tebboune’s Periodic Meeting with the Press],” YouTube, April 24, 2022, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KraUXFbqvIk.
56 Anthony Blinken, “Remarks to Mission Algeria,” US Embassy in Algiers, March 30, 2022, https://www.state.gov/secretary-antony-j-blinken-remarks-to-mission-algeria/.
57 Yahia H. Zoubir, “The United States and Algeria: Hostility, Pragmatism, and Partnership,” in Handbook of US- Middle East Relations: Formative Factors and Regional Perspectives, ed. Robert E. Looney (London & NY: Routledge, 2009), 219-236.
58 Abdelkader Abderrahmane, “Émissaire de l’ONU en Libye : à travers le blocage de Lamamra, c’est l’Algérie qui est ciblée [UN envoy to Libya: through the blocking of Lamamra, it is Algeria that is targeted],” Middle East Eye, April 30, 2020, https://www.middleeasteye.net/fr/opinion-fr/algerie-libye-lamamra-onu-diplomatie-sahel.
59 Algérie Focus, “L’Algérie accuse Washington d’être à l’origine du refus des EAU de nommer Boukadoum comme envoyé de l’ONU en Libye [Algeria accuses Washington of being behind UAE’s refusal to appoint Boukadoum as UN envoy to Libya],” July 6, 2022, https://www.algerie-focus.com/lalgerie-accuse-washington-detre-a-lorigine-du-refus-des-eau-de-nommer-boukadoum-comme-envoye-de-lonu-en-libye/.
60 The White House, “Proclamation on Recognizing the Sovereignty of the Kingdom of Morocco over the Western Sahara,” December 10, 2020, https://trumpwhitehouse.archives.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-recognizing-sovereignty-kingdom-morocco-western-sahara/.
61 Giorgio Cafiero, “Why US-Algeria relations are at their lowest point in years,” TRT World, December 23, 2021,
62 Oded Yaron, “Israeli Arms exports to Morocco: From Pegasus to Kamikaze drones,” Haaretz, July 19, 2022, https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/security-aviation/2022-07-19/ty-article-timeline/.premium/israel-morocco-arms-sales-pegasus-harop-kamikaze-drones-barak-missiles/00000182-10f9-d1ad-a1b7-1ffd14150000.
63 Yahia H. Zoubir, “China’s Relations with Algeria: From Revolutionary Friendship to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” in China and North Africa: Between Economics, Politics and Security, ed. Adel Abdel-Ghafar (London: I.B. Tauris, 2021), 126–165.
64 Ministère des Finances, Statistiques du Commerce Extérieur de l’Algérie: Année 2020, Algeria, January 2021, https://www.douane.gov.dz/IMG/pdf/statistiques_du_commerce_exterieur_de_l_algerie_annee_2020.pdf (accessed September 4, 2022).
65 Yahia H. Zoubir, “Algeria and China: Shifts in Political and Military Relations,” Global Policy, (July 2022), https://doi.10.1111/1758-5899.13115.
66 The Washington Post, “Nancy Pelosi Departs Taiwan, Ending Contentious Visit that Angered China,” August 2, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/08/02/nancy-pelosi-taiwan-visit/.
67 The three communiques on U.S.-China are reiterated in Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PRC, “Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu on Pelosi’s Visit to Taiwan,” August 9, 2022, https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/wjbxw/202208/t20220809_10738069.html.
68 Cited in CGTN, “Foreign Envoys Express Opposition to Pelosi’s Visit to China’s Taiwan Region,” August 6, 2022, https://news.cgtn.com/news/2022-08-06/Foreign-envoys-express-opposition-to-Pelosi-s-visit-to-China-s-Taiwan-1cgT5vVEVRm/index.html.
69 Yahia H. Zoubir, “Making up for lost time Russia and Central Maghreb,” in Russian Foreign Policy towards the Middle East-New Trends, Old Traditions, ed. Nikolay Kozhanov (London: Hurst, 2022).
70 Arab Observer, “First of its kind: Joint Russian-Algerian Tactical Exercise Launched,” October 4, 2021, https://www.arabobserver.com/first-of-its-kind-joint-russian-algerian-tactical-exercise-launched/.
71 Algerie Patriotique, “Participation de l’ANP à l’exercice stratégique de commandement et d’état-major ‘Est-2022’ en Russie [Participation of the PNA in the strategic command and staff exercise “Est-2022” in Russia],” September 1, 2022, https://www.algeriepatriotique.com/2022/09/01/participation-de-lanp-a-lexercice-strategique-de-commandement-et-detat-major-est-2022-en-russie/
72 MENA Defense, “Exercice militaire algéro-russe à Hammaguir en novembre [Algerian-Russian military exercise in Hammaguir in November],” August 9, 2022, https://www.menadefense.net/algerie/exercice-militaire-algero-russe-a-hammaguir-en-novembre/.
73 Akram Belkaïd, “Maghreb-Ukraine (1). L’Algérie et le Maroc refusent de choisir [Maghreb-Ukraine (1). Algeria and Morocco refuse to choose],” Orient XXI, May 19, 2022, https://orientxxi.info/magazine/maghreb-ukraine-1-lalgerie-et-le-maroc-refusent-de-choisir,5603.
74 Algérie Presse Service, “ONU: l’Algérie vote contre la décision de suspension de la Russie du Conseil des droits de l’Homme [UN: Algeria votes against decision to suspend Russia from Human Rights Council]”, April 8, 2022, https://www.aps.dz/algerie/138307-onu-l-algerie-vote-contre-la-decision-de-suspension-de-la-russie-du-conseil-des-droits-de-l-homme.
75 Algérie Press Service, “Conflit en Ukraine: Lamamra en visite lundi à Moscou [Conflict in Ukraine: Lamamra visits Moscow on Monday],” April 3, 2022, https://www.aps.dz/algerie/138152-conflit-en-ukraine-lamamra-en-visite-lundi-a-moscou-en-compagnie-des-ministres-des-ae-du-groupe-de-contact-arabe.
76 “China and Algeria are about to sign the China-Algeria Belt and Road Initiative,” Seetao, accessed September 4, 2022, https://www.seetao.com/details/145615.html.
77 M.B., “Lavrov a transmis une invitation officielle à Tebboune pour une visite en Russie en assurant : ‘Nous apprécions hautement la position algérienne [Lavrov Extended an Official Invitation to Tebboune for a Visit to Russia, Saying: “We Highly Appreciate the Algerian Position],” El Watan-dz, May 12, 2022, https://elwatan-dz.com/lavrov-a-transmis-une-invitation-officielle-a-tebboune-pour-une-visite-en-russie-en-assurant-nous-apprecions-hautement-la-position-algerienne.
78 Tayeb Belghiche, “Mohammed VI autorise l’implantation de bases militaires israéliennes au Maroc : Rabat joue avec le feu [Mohammed VI Authorizes the Establishment of Israeli Military Bases in Morocco: Rabat is Playing with Fire],” El-Watan-dz, August 23, 2022, https://elwatan-dz.com/mohammed-vi-autorise-limplantation-de-bases-militaires-israeliennes-au-maroc-rabat-joue-avec-le-feu.
79 Yahia H. Zoubir. “‘The Giant Afraid of Its Shadow’: Algeria, the Reluctant Middle Power,” in Unfulfilled Aspirations: Middle Power Politics in the Middle East, ed. Adham Saouli (London: Hurst Publisher, 2020) 67-90.
80 Arab News, “Tebboune évoque une adhésion de l’Algérie aux Brics [Tebboune Evokes an Accession of Algeria to the Brics],” August 1, 2022, https://arabnews.fr/node/272796/monde-arabe.