Saudi’s ambassador to Algeria, Sami Bin Abdullah Al-Saleh, has caused anger for his comments describing Hamas as a “terrorist” movement.
Speaking in an interview with Ennahar television, Al-Saleh was asked if Hamas is a terrorist organisation to which he replied, “It’s now categorised….if it seeks to cause and create trouble then of course.”
“The right to resistance is guaranteed for an organisation, not for him to stay at a five-star hotel in Qatar and from there run conspiracies. He is supposed to be with his people and present his cause to his people,” he added in reference to senior Hamas officials who reside in Qatar.
Nasser Hamdadouche, head of the parliamentary bloc of the Movement for Social Peace, criticised the Ambassador’s comments.
“The Saudi ambassador should respect the Algerian people’s sense of the central issue, a doctrinal issue, to the extent of fulfilling the late President Houari Boumediene’s statement that Algeria is with Palestine.”
We do not want the Algerian state to be involved in these shameful positions towards the Palestinian cause, nor to engage in this attempt to be open to Israel.
Hamdadouche called on the Saudi ambassador to “withdraw his hostile statement towards the Palestinian resistance and not to use his diplomatic position in Algeria to promote non-Arab and Islamic trends.”
He also called on the Algerian foreign ministry “to call this ambassador, and alert him to the seriousness of these statements on the land of Algeria, statements and positions are not welcome.”
“We expect the Algerian diplomat to summon the ambassador to inform him of the position of Algeria and demand his respect to the Algerian people and their position in support of the liberation of Palestine and Al-Aqsa,” Ahmed Al-Dan, secretary-general of the National Construction Movement, said.
The ambassador is expected to take into consideration the general sentiment of the Algerian people. He’s free on where his country stands, but diplomacy has its traditions that should not be overlooked.
Algerian activists took to social media to criticise Al-Saleh’s comments using the hashtag “of course resistance.”
“Algeria is with Palestine and with resistance. You cannot say the opposite in Algeria,” activist Yemse Meneghi Yahyaoui wrote online.
Algerian blogger Abdel Hamid Kharbashi suggested inviting Hamas representatives to Algeria “to see how much the Algerian people love terrorism.”