Western Sahara: US Congress Disavows Algeria

congress1The recent decision of the US House of Representatives to include the Western Sahara in the areas where US military aid to Morocco can be used dealt a blow to Algerian leaders who are reportedly readying to launch a wide scale lobbying campaign to respond to the move, according to informed sources in Algiers.

The new text adopted by the Congress repealed a 2011 law that excluded the Sahara territory from US military aid to Morocco. This aid is traditionally designed to supply Morocco with US military equipment and to train Moroccan officers in the United States.
But Algerian officials can hardly accept this American readjustment. They see it as a disavowal of their opposition to any political solution in Western Sahara, particularly the autonomy plan proposed by Morocco. Media close to the DRS, the Algerian military intelligence services, described the US congressmen’s inititiative was a stab in the back.

Algerian officials’ resentmentatthis decision has apparently prompted them to reviewthoroughlytheir lobbying policy in the United States, explain the sources.

Algerians, aware of the political implications of the congressmen’s vote, are pondering on a new plan in an attempt to “limit the damage”. The goal is to minimize the impact of the US lawmakers’ decision through a more focused lobbying campaign in favor of the Polisario.
The Algerian Foreign Minister is reportedly supervising in person the details of this lobbying campaign.

Ramtane Lamamra is said to have demanded millions of dollars to carry out this large-scale operation and would have obtained the sums requested without any difficulty despite the financial difficulties facing Algeria, which is severely affected by the collapse of oil and gas prices on the world market.


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