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Abandoned by Haftar, Algiers follows Rabat’s footsteps and condemns «military escalation»

Between 2014 and 2016, Algeria and Libyan military officer Khalifa Haftar were on good terms. It is not the case anymore, as the Algerian Foreign Affairs Ministry condemned military escalation in Libya, following the footsteps of Morocco.

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Libya's Marshal Khalifa Haftar. / Ph. DR

Algeria’s position on the Libyan crisis has seen some changes, getting closer to the one adopted by Morocco. In fact, Algeria announced that it condemns «military escalation», reacting to the ongoing fighting in and around Tripoli.

At a press briefing held in Tunis on April 27th, the newly appointed Algerian Foreign Affairs Minister Sabri Boukadoum said that «it is unacceptable to sit idly by while a Maghreb capital is being bombed», the Algerian press agency APS reported.

The Minister urged the parties involved in the Libyan crisis to resume negotiations, under the auspices of the tripartite initiative launched by Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt to bring a fresh momentum for a political solution.

When Algiers rolled out the red carpet for Marshal Khalifa Haftar

To the Algerian Foreign Minister and his Tunisian counterpart, the solution «cannot be military». The same position was shared by Morocco. On April 17th, Moroccan Foreign Affairs Minister Nasser Bourita stressed that «the military option can only further complicate the situation in Libya and affect the stability and security of its citizens».

Receiving Jumaa al-Qamati, the personal envoy of Libya's prime minister of the Government of National Accord Fayez Al-Sarraj, Bourita said that the Kingdom considers that the political process is the best solution to the Libyan crisis.

Having Algeria change its position on the Libyan crisis takes into account the potential fall of Haftar. The strong Marshal has also brought changes to his priorities, betting on the support of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, as well as the political and military backing of Egypt, France and the United States.

In 2014, however, Haftar was happy to «let Algeria monitor Libya’s border». In September 2016, he was rewarded by being received by Abdelkader Messahel, who served at the moment as the Foreign Affairs Minister of the African Union, the Arab Maghreb Union and the Arab League.

Two years later, things have changed. In September 2018, the Marshal openly accused the Algerians of having «profited» from the chaos in his country «to penetrate the Libyan territory. I sent General Abdelkrim to Algiers to tell them that what happened is not fraternal». Haftar ignored the Algerian invitations to meet Fayez al-Sarraj in Algiers, preferring to meet with his opponent in Paris in May 2018, and in Abu Dhabi in February 2019.

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