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Algeria: president confident about initiative to solve Renaissance Dam crisis

August 9, 2021 at 1:56 pm

Algeria’s President Abdelmadjid Tebboune on June 12, 2021 [RYAD KRAMDI/AFP via Getty Images]

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has expressed his confidence in his country’s initiative to solve the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam crisis. It has, he said, received a positive response from all concerned parties.

Tebboune told local media in a wide-ranging interview on Sunday evening that the initiative is purely Algerian. “It has not been dictated to us by any party. I spoke with the president and prime minister of Ethiopia prior to the visit of our foreign minister to the country,” he explained. “I confirm that we have received positive reactions from Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt.

The UN Security Council did not decide on the issue and referred it back to the African Union, the Algerian president pointed out. “We are confident of the success of the Algerian mediation initiative. Reason and logic must be applied in order for Africa to enjoy stability and restore its prestige in international circles.”

He stressed that the Algerian mediation in this matter will not stop until it is resolved. “We expect and we seek nothing in return.”

Asked about the recent statements by Morocco’s King Mohammed VI about the wish to reopen the border with Algeria, Tebboune replied: “There is a Moroccan diplomat who made very dangerous statements recently, which prompted us to withdraw our ambassador from Rabat. We asked for explanations without receiving a response, so I will not comment further.”

READ: Why did Putin turn against Sisi in the Renaissance Dam file? 

He did, however, point out that the issue of Western Sahara has been entrusted to the UN, and Algeria is merely an observer, not a party. “We are ready to host a meeting between the Polisario Front and Morocco to reach a solution to the issue.”

Regarding events in Tunisia, Tebboune said that Algeria cannot interfere in Tunisia’s internal affairs. “However, we will not accept any party putting pressure on Tunisia, no matter what. I will not reveal what [Tunisian President] Kais Saied told me or interfere with it.”

Turning to Libya, he noted that Algeria is the only country that does not have any ambitions in Libya. “We are optimistic, but we are afraid that the circumstances and timing will not be suitable for holding elections in Libya before the end of the year.”

On the issue of French involvement in Mali, Tebboune noted that Algeria is working with regional partners to combat terrorism in the Sahel region.