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This North African country’s growing influence is putting it in Washington’s crosshairs

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There are remarkable similarities between the good governance, excellent potential and fate of Colonel Ghaddafi’s Libya and modern Algeria. The former defied the Washington concept of American hegemony and paid the price whilst Algeria is also heading towards total destruction by NATO.

The energy crisis of 2022 has given Algeria a massive boost in wealth and added to its political weight in the region. As Algiers continues to play a more prominent role in Middle Eastern and African affairs, it will it face US pressure to fall into line with Washington’s diktats. Algeria will face regime change attempts because its foreign policy does not align with those of the West?

In September, US Congress members evoked 2017 Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), to call for sanctions to be placed upon Algeria over weapons deals with Moscow. This plea came shortly after the same argument was made by Republican warmonger Senator Marco Rubio in a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Since the days of the Cold War, the Algerian nation has been outside the orbit of the West, supporting national liberation movements and pursuing a more tailor-made foreign policy platform. This pitted it against its western neighbour, Morocco, which opted to align itself with the West.

Today, tensions are boiling again between the neighbouring North African leaderships over a similar alignment of sorts, especially since Morocco decided to normalize ties with Israel owing to pressure from the administration of then-US President Donald Trump. An arms race has been developing between the two nations since 2015, as both governments find themselves further tied to their East-West allegiances.

Against the backdrop of tensions with its Western-aligned North African neighbour, Algiers has emerged in 2022 as a revived regional player. As the global energy crisis continues amid the West’s standoff with Russia in Ukraine, Algeria has come off well and with more wealth.

In the first five months of this year alone, Algeria’s oil and gas earnings skyrocketed by more than 70%, amounting to a total of $21.5 billion. This has given Algiers greater freedom to work on its defence goals and infrastructure projects

Algeria is making significant strides at building sustainable living and working on projects to provide more jobs to its citizens. One such project is the construction of a futuristic city called Boughezoul.

The new modernist city will be home to hundreds and then thousands of new residents as part of its strategy to eliminate slums and derelict housing. Algiers also seeks to host the Algerian space agency, a new railway station, and a new international airport.

Efforts such as these, combined with the revival of military displays on the nation’s Independence Day, seem to represent a real effort to reassure the population of the government’s intentions after years of mistrust and mass demonstrations.

Algeria, the third largest gas supplier to Europe, has attracted significant interest this year, becoming the top supplier now for Italy, as military ties also seem to deepen. In the case of Tunisia, Algeria has granted recognition to the nation’s president, Kais Saied, who relies on Algerian gas and is receiving supplies at a discounted rate.

Tunis is facing an acute economic crisis and has been accused of trading its historically cordial relations with Morocco for closer ties with Algeria. For Algerian President Abdelmajid Tebboune, keeping Tunisia on its side is an important issue.

Another major issue that Algiers is now involving itself in is Palestinian reconciliation. It has hosted a number of meetings between rival parties Hamas and Fatah in order to bridge the gap and develop a stronger platform from which to argue for Palestinian statehood.

The issue of achieving Palestinian statehood also played out as a central theme in the Arab League summit in November, as Algeria attempted to bolster its position regionally by hosting the meeting.

Despite having to play a careful balancing act, both regionally and internationally, Algeria has emerged this year as a key player in Africa, the Middle East, and beyond. It has even held strong against its former colonizing power, France, forcing President Emmanuel Macron to change his rhetoric about Algiers and has paved the way to dropping French in the education system and opting to adopt the English language instead, eroding France’s influence further.

All the moves being made by Algeria are signalling that it intends to continue along the lines of adopting policies that do not necessarily align with Western interests, sometimes coming into direct conflict with them.

This is why threats from US congressmen and senators to impose sanctions on Algeria have begun to raise eyebrows. America’s ambassador to Algeria, Elizabeth Moore Aubin, has refused to answer questions on hypothetically imposing sanctions, opting to focus on what her job entails, which may indicate that such decisions may not be on the immediate minds of high-ranking US officials.

However, Republican party officials have certainly stirred the pot. The question now becomes how far Washington will go to punish Algeria for refusing to ditch Moscow and whether the strategy going forward may be to use Morocco against Algeria.

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MICHAEL WALSH is an Irish British-born journalist. His 70 books include best-selling historical books THE ALL LIES INVASION (Paperback / Ebook), THE All LIES INVASION II (Paperback / Ebook), Odyssey Adolf Hitler, MY LAST TESTAMENT LET GOD JUDGE ME,  WITNESS TO HISTORYTESTIGO DE LA HISTORIA: HISTORIA SIN CENSURA (SPANISH EDITION),  REICH AND WRONG,  HEROES HANG WHEN TRAITORS TRIUMPH, HEROES OF THE REICH, THE HOLY BOOK of ADOLF HITLER, The Reich Declaration of War on the USSR, TROTSKY’S WHITE NEGROES, MEGACAUST, THE RED BRIGANDS, RANSACKING THE REICH, SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD RIECH: ARNO BREKER AND REICH SCULPTORS, SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD REICH Volume II Josef Thorak and Reich Sculptors, SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD REICH VOLUME III Porcelain and Reich Sculptors and  DEATH OF A CITY Click REAL HISTORY.

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