Algeria is experiencing a conflict between Prime Minister Abdelmadjid Tebboune and officials surrounding ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika as a result of the former’s efforts to “separate money from politics”.
This comes after a secret meeting held between Tebboune and his French counterpart Édouard Philippe. The Algerian official had arrived in Paris on a private flight with no official diplomatic agenda. French newspaper Mondafrique quoted sources close to the Algerian official saying that he had been invited by Philippe.
In Algiers, this unannounced meeting sparked the anger of Bouteflika’s advisors, according to the French newspaper.
One of the president’s close associates criticised the meeting and described it as “a serious violation of protocols”.
He also stated that “the presidential office should have been informed about this invitation in the first place to verify its validity, and to carry out the meeting in an organised and official manner. Tebboune met with his French counterpart as if he is the sole representative of the Algerian regime.”
Following the meeting, media outlets close to the Algerian president unleash a storm of criticism against Tebboune. According to these reports, it is assumed that his recent unannounced meeting had aroused Bouteflika’s resentment.
However, the presidency was aware of the bilateral meeting between Tebboune and Philippe, according to the report of Mondafrique. The newspaper stated that the presidency, was waiting for an invitation from France to hold an “official” meeting.
On the other hand, a source close to Tebboune told HuffPost Arabi that “what Al-Nahar has leaked as the president’s words is in fact a letter signed by the director of the presidential office, Ahmed Ouyahia, and sent to Tebboune before the government went on vacation. Some other parties took advantage of the presence of the prime minister outside the country, leaked this letter to the press and attributed it to the president.”
Tout sur l’Algérie quoted Algerian diplomatic sources who said that “the meeting between Tebboune and his French counterpart was arranged in advance and attended by a representative of the Algerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who took notes of the meeting.”
The Algerian prime minister did not wait for the permission of the presidency because the meeting with Philippe was very urgent, especially after the French Senates Committee published a report that may damage Tebboune’s reputation, according to Mondafrique’s sources.