G7 Summit in Italy: the real reason President Tebboune was invited

Algeria

Published on Wednesday 19 June 2024 Back to articles

G7 summit – Tebboune (L) greets Macron (R) while Brazil’s Lula and Jordan’s King Abdullah are seated

President Tebboune’s last-minute invitation to attend the G7 summit in Italy on 13-14 June was possibly one of the largest and most welcome surprises of his presidency. It has enabled the state-backed media, to indulge in an orgy of self-congratulatory hyperbole and propaganda.

Few if any media outlets explained why he received the invitation. It was only after Tebboune’s return that some began to analyse what lay behind it and its implications for both the Presidency and Algeria. 

Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni needed little excuse to invite him: Italy has extremely close relations with Algeria because of its gas exports and increasing bilateral business developments. 

However, although not admitted by either France or Algeria, the pressure to do so came from France’s President Emmanuel Macron and was triggered by the results of the European Parliament elections on 9 June. It saw a significant victory for the far right Rassemblement National (RN) and Macron’s subsequent shock decision to dissolve parliament and hold early legislative elections on 30 June and 7 July. They are likely to have serious consequences for Franco-Algerian relations and the remaining three years of Macron’s presidency.

Tebboune met Macron and while it was publicised and commented on by the Algerian media, the Elysée did not immediately publish any photo or comment on it. No official French source discussed or published anything about their encounter.

Eventually there was a press release from the Elysée but the smoke and mirrors statement fooled no-one into believing it. that the two presidents had only met to discuss these points. The real reason was to discuss France’s legislative elections and their implications for Algeria.

If, as expected, the Rassemblement National (RN) wins control of government it will have severe consequences. This is because: it is known for its hostility towards Algeria; will call Tebboune’s state visit to Paris into question; and lastingly affect the already complicated and difficult bilateral relationship. The extreme right will almost certainly recognise Morocco’s claim to Western Sahara and also cancel the key 1968 Franco-Algerian treaty which created a special status for Algerian nationals in terms of movement, residence and employment in France. 

Furthermore, Algerians and dual nationals are likely to suffer other prejudices against them. Tebboune therefore wants to obtain reassurances from Macron about the possible impacts on bilateral relations and the consequences on the Algerian diaspora which is the largest foreign community in France.

Meanwhile Macron is very aware of the diaspora’s electoral weight and, according to our sources, is urging Tebboune to use the regime’s influence to encourage those expatriate Algerians to use their vote tactically to keep out the extreme right in the forthcoming elections.

The Algerian government is trying to mobilise its networks in France to come to the aid of Macron who is described as ‘the friend of Algeria.’ The Algerian controlled and financed Grand Mosque of Paris has launched an appeal to Muslim voters in France to block the likely success of the far right.

This excerpt is taken from Algeria Focus, our monthly intelligence report on Algeria. Click here to receive a free sample copy.

The June 2024 issue of Algeria Focus also includes the following:

Politics

  • Plus c’est change as regime gears up for election
  • Implications

Foreign Relations

  • Ahmed Attaf’s surprise trip to Beijing
  • Tebboune’s attends G7 Summit 
  • Momentum on Western Sahara moves towards Morocco
  • Algeria faces possible charges for human rights abuses 

Security

  • The threat of social unrest

Economy

  • Tebboune uses false data for electoral purposes

Energy

  • Shale gas: back on the agenda but unanswered questions
  • US$80 million Hassi Messaoud refinery scandal could rock Presidency

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