By Hosting Separatists’ Leader, Tunisian President Has Shamelessly Left Neutrality – Journalist

By hosting the leader of the separatists on the occasion of the holding in Tunis of the forum of Japan-Africa cooperation (TICAD 8), the Tunisian President Kais Saied has shamelessly departed from the neutrality observed by Tunisia since 1975 in the dispute between Morocco and Algeria about the Moroccanness of the Sahara, says Journalist Talaâ Saoud Al Atlassi. In an article published Wednesday on the information site Machahid 24, he writes that “the Tunisian president has, in addition to violating the principle of neutrality, also violated the precautionary principle, risking getting entangled in a conflict and attracting the wrath of one or the other party, Morocco or Algeria while his country has only very limited means and its room for maneuver is very small, especially in the current geopolitical context, given that Tunisia is caught between a staggering Libya and Algeria in the hands of a military regime masked.” However, Tunisia, plagued by chaos, had found in Morocco, state and people, the closest country, the most sincere and especially a protective country on which it can rely on the diplomatic and security and even military, if necessary as was announced publicly by the late sovereign Hassan II in 1980, He reminds us before adding that “HM King Mohammed VI did the same by expressing a few years ago his solidarity with Tunisia in its fight against terrorist attacks, staying about a month in the Tunisian capital, which represents a gesture of defiance against terrorists and a way to reassure the world about the situation in Tunisia. And so many other royal gestures and reassuring messages that express the esteem in which Tunisia is held and its place in the hearts of Moroccans. In short, actions and not just words.” While noting that Morocco, aware of the delicate situation that Tunisia is going through and the need for this country to build friendships with countries to guard against their probable hostility, has never exerted any pressure on it to have it on its side in the defense of its territorial integrity and its legitimate right to liberate its Sahara from Spanish colonialism. But the fact remains that Morocco had hoped that the politicians and the elite in Tunisia would express their recognition of this legitimate right of Morocco over its Sahara, but they did not! No statement in its direction either from political institutions, or parties, and even less from trade unions and other associations in Tunisia. This specialist of the Maghreb emphasizes, on this register, that Morocco, in all its components, has nevertheless taken care not to offend Tunisia, ensuring to preserve its dignity and neutrality to protect it against the hostility of the Algerian military regime which did not cease, on the other hand, to multiply the pressures on this country and to take advantage of a sieve border that the Tunisian military forces did not have the means to protect effectively against the infiltration of the terrorists. Still on this same register, Talaâ Saoud Al Atlassi notes that the “laxity” of the Algerian security forces is obviously the cause of terrorist attacks that have shaken Tunisia in recent years, a “laxity” which represents a form of pressure on this country to align with its hostile policy against Morocco and benefit in return for its protection. He added that the Algerian regime has also exploited in a perfidious way the fragility of the socio-political situation in Tunisia in the aftermath of “the Arab Spring” in its Tunisian version. After noting that “the Algerian regime has found its account in the person of the Tunisian president, instrumentalizing him in a demeaning way in its hostile policy towards Morocco in return for donations of money, energy and foodstuffs, in addition to the promise to promote Tunisian tourism, the author of the article explains that “one of the first clues attesting to the docility of the Tunisian president and his obedience to the instructions of Algerian generals, is the abstention of Tunisia during the vote of a resolution of the UN Security Council last fall, and today, by hosting on Tunisian soil the leader of the Polisario separatists, shamelessly invited to take part in the work of a forum of Afro-Nippon cooperation without the agreement of the sponsor of the event, Japan, and this, to serve the agenda of Algerian generals. By acting in this way against Morocco, Kais Saied has doubly torpedoed the stability of his country, first by losing a friendly country, faithful and concerned about preserving common interests in mutual respect and secondly, by easily giving in to the temptation of an ephemeral pecuniary counterpart, which deprives him by ricochet of an independence on the level of political decision and condemns the country to remain hostage to the Algerian generals. Certainly, I have no right to interfere in the internal affairs of Tunisia, a country that has political institutions, trade unions and cultural, only entitled to provide their opinion and influence decisions on the management of public affairs in Tunisia, but I note nevertheless that the political decisions of Mr. Kaiss Saied have raised a lot of concern. Kaiss Saied have raised a broad opposition front, a front with multiple sensitivities and political views and intellectuals that some components were previously torn between themselves until the Tunisian president give them unknowingly a good reason to gather in the same front, which further aggravates the political situation in Tunisia, in the grip of chaos,” he said. And he believes that by provoking Morocco, Saied seeks to add fuel to the fire by aggravating the tensions that hamper the construction of the Maghreb and which are already exacerbated because of Algerian maneuvers targeting Morocco. By acting in this way and against the interest of the country, Kais Saied risks attracting the wrath of the Tunisian people, beating the pavement and chanting the chorus of the operetta “Majnoun Leila” of the Egyptian poet and playwright Ahmed Chawqi “Kais, did you come to ask for fire or set fire to the house?”