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Algeria: Lamamra leaves, Attaf new head of diplomacy

After more than a year and a half as foreign minister, Ramtane Lamamra has been sacked. He is replaced by Ahmed Attaf, head of diplomacy in the 1990s.

Ramtane Lamamra is officially no longer the Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs. For several days, speculation had been rife about the future of the head of diplomacy. Yesterday, President Abdelmadjid Tebboune put an end to the suspense by carrying out a ministerial reshuffle. Despite the maintenance of the Prime Minister, Lamamra was sidelined in favor of Ahmed Attaf. The latter is seasoned in this position, which he already occupied in the 1990s. As for Ramtane Lamamra, it is the end clap. The last few months have been decisive for the president's choice to part ways with his foreign minister.

Disagreements with the presidency

Certain of being ousted from the government, Lamamra is said to have decided to offer his resignation to the Prime Minister. The fault of persistent disagreements with the entourage of the head of state. It was at the time of changes within the diplomatic corps that the first tensions would have appeared: embassies and consuls that two close collaborators of President Tebboune decided to reshuffle. In disagreement, Ramtane Lammara opposed the appointments proposed by the president's entourage, but did not succeed in winning his case.

Disagreements that have plunged Ramtane Lamamra into a strange situation: while he has been omnipresent on the international scene in recent years, the head of diplomacy has erased himself. Going so far as to no longer communicate on his Twitter account, which has remained inactive this year. The highlight was the visit, last weekend, of Josep Borell, Vice-President of the European Commission, to Algeria. Lamamra was not at the rendezvous, and it was the Algerian Prime Minister, Aymen Benabderrahmane, and Lamamra's prospective replacement in his post, Amar Belani, Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. who were seen alongside the Spaniard.

Diplomatic mistakes?

Finally, according to the press, there remains the fact that Lamamra's presidential ambitions have been frowned upon. According to Africa Intelligence, Lamamra would have had telephone contact with personalities from the first circle of French President Emmanuel Macron, without the Algerian president having been kept informed. The Moroccan press is happy to point out that it was Ramtane Lamamra's diplomatic failures that cost him his place, announcements of support for the Moroccan plan by several countries including Spain, passing by the summit of the Arab League, during which he had not welcomed his Moroccan counterpart, Nasser Bourita, or even the scandal of the African Nations Championship.

Beyond the rumors, now place in a new era. Lamamra will have spent a year and eight months at the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. For Ahmed Attaf, it will be a question both of continuing the work carried out in recent years by Algerian diplomacy, but also of imposing a new style. Former head of diplomacy, from 1996 to 1999, Attaf is a connoisseur of two hot issues: Western Sahara and relations with Morocco.

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