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Algeria criticises French role in EU resolution

Algeria’s Minister of Communication and government spokesman Ammar Belhimer
Algeria’s Minister of Communication and government spokesman Ammar Belhimer, 27 November 2020 [radioalgerie/Twitter]

Algeria's Minister of Communication and government spokesman Ammar Belhimer has denounced the French role in the European Parliament's resolution on the "Situation of freedom in Algeria", describing it as "foolish, deviant, reckless and insolent". Belhimer said that Algeria is paying the price for advocating for just causes and rejecting normalisation with Israel.

In his response to the European resolution, Belhimer told Algeria Press Service (APS) that the country is being "bombarded with a stream of French attacks through several channels, namely the European Parliament, non-governmental organisations, social networks and Parisian influencers." He quoted Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky who, "Beautifully explained to us the position that should be adopted in some cases when he said: 'I do not bite scum and cheap bait'."

This is not the first time that pressure groups in the European Parliament have tried unsuccessfully to undermine Algeria by issuing similar resolutions on human rights and individual freedoms, the minister pointed out. "This pattern is repeated by the end of every year, as if it was an Easter gift or a service rendered to the instigators who move these lobbies." He recalled a similar resolution approved by the European Parliament last year.

In response to the resolution, Belhimer asked whether the universal values that the EU defends enthusiastically have actually been liberated from Eurocentrism. Moreover, he criticised the role of NGOs as well as local political and media platforms — including an Algerian media outlet that he did not identify — and accused such networks of lying and turning a blind eye on these issues.

READ: Mystery in Algeria one month after president's hospitalisation

He also condemned the "immaturity" of secular-democratic groups which represent a minority in Algerian society. The minister linked the conduct of these groups with the statements made by Nicolas Sarkozy during his meeting with the then head of Libya's National Transitional Council, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, in Paris in 2011. Sarkozy apparently promised [freedom] in "Algeria after a year and Iran after three years".

Belhimer noted the role of Reporters Without Borders (RSF), in reference to the organisation's reaction to the European Parliament resolution. "RSF has nothing to do with being an NGO. It is an active tool for spreading French soft power around the world, and receives support in one way or another from the French Development Agency (AFD), TV5 and TV5 Monde, in addition to other media organs and the French Ministry of Culture, the European Council (EUCO) and the European Commission (EC), as well as the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR)."

RSF also, he concluded, receives support from the US. He named the Ford Foundation, American Express and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), "which is considered to be the Trojan horse of the revolutions in the world, the Maghreb region and the Arab world in particular."

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