Sahara: Paris Getting Used to Lamamra’s Whims

rammtaneRamtane Lamamra is playing his favorite game again. The head of Algerian diplomacy is once again trying to exert pressure on France to make it change its standpoint on the Sahara issue, and shamelessly does not hesitate to resort to economic blackmail against Paris.

Addressing Algerian expatriates living in Créteil, in the southeastern suburbs of Paris, the Algerian Foreign Minister recalled the bilateral ties inherited from a long and tumultuous colonial history.

Between France and Algeria, “there are specific interests, multiple interests and there are quite complicated areas,” said Ramtane Lamamra, who defended what he called his country’s “principled positions” and “stable positions.”

And the Sahara issue is on top of the issues opposing Paris and Algiers.

Yet, dialogue between Algeria and the French state “is continuing in many areas and deadlines are set,” said the Algerian Foreign Minister, in a thinly veiled reference to the damage that could affect French interests in Algeria if Paris continued its support to the Moroccan autonomy plan in the Sahara.

It is not the first time that Lamamra blames Paris because of the Sahara issue and of the cold indifference with which France treats the Algeria-backed Polisario separatist Front. This has become a habit.

Actually, the Algerian Foreign Minister’s new statement comes barely two months after the exasperated statement he made during the visit French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault paid to Algiers on March 29.

At a joint press conference with his French counterpart, Lamamra could not help saying that the Sahara issue was “one of the main bones of contentions between the foreign policies of Algeria and France.”

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