Why Is Algeria Co-Operating With France?
Algeria’s decision to allow French fighter jets into its airspace for Mali offensive is very risky
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius dropped a bombshell when he announced that Algeria has authorised France, whose fighter jets are pounding Islamist rebel strongholds in northern Mali, to cross its airspace unconditionally, Abdel Bari Atwan commented in the pan-Arab newspaper Al Quds Al Arabi.
The Algerian government has remained silent over this statement, and has not explained its new stance towards France’s blatant military intervention in an Islamic state that has been described as Algeria’s “loose back door”, the writer said.
Allowing French combat aircraft to use Algeria’s air space to attack a sovereign state amounts to blessing this French adventure, and constitutes direct involvement in it, he added.
Spokesmen for the Algerian government had said on several occasions that they rejected any military solution to the Mali crisis, stressing that dialogue was the optimum way out.
The Algerian government also declined an intervention plan announced by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her visit to Algiers last October, in which Algeria was pressed to back an African-led military intervention into northern Mali.
So, the question is: what are the motives that have prompted the Algerian government to align itself now with the country that colonised Algeria for more than 130 years?