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Ahmed Attaf Replaces Ramtane Lamamra as Algeria’s FM

Ahmed Attaf has replaced Ramtane Lamamra as Algeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister, with reports suggesting the Algerian president is not satisfied with Lamamra’s results as head of Algeria’s diplomacy.
President Abdelmadjid Tebboune announced the news as part of a cabinet reshuffle.

Attaf is already known in Algeria’s diplomatic circles, having held the position of the country’s chief diplomat in the 1990s.

He also served as Algeria’s ambassador to India, Yugoslavia, and the UK.

Following his ambassadorial tenure, Attaf notably served as Secretary of State to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. 

The cabinet reshuffle also included other appointments, including Brahim Merad as the new minister of interior, and Abderrachid Tabi as the new minister of justice.

Laaziz Fayed was appointed as Minister of Finance, while Mohamed Arkab was announced as the new minister of energy.

Laid Rebiga meanwhile is announced as the new “minister of rights holders,” Youcef Belmahdi as minister of Religious Affairs, and Abdelhakim Belaabed as minister of education.

In a report about the new government reshuffle, the news website Africa Intelligence said: “Behind the scenes, Tebboune is making no attempt to hide his dissatisfaction with a number of ministers, including foreign minister Lamamra.”

This is the second cabinet reshuffle in the North African country in less than a year.

Last year in September,  President Tebboune terminated the duty of 16 governors

and several ministers. 

Who is Attaf

It is still unclear why the cabinet reshuffle included Lamamra, who has been serving as Algeria’s chief diplomat since July 2019. 

Attaf is familiar with the Western Sahara dossier as well as the political crisis between Morocco and Algeria.

Algerian news outlets have been heavily quoting Attaf’s remarks from when he was serving as a member of the Algerian government.

Algerie DZ quoted Attaf’s 2014  televised statement, where he commented on the Algeria-Morocco border closure.

“It was me who wrote the note” that advocated for the closure, he said.

Land borders between the two countries have been closed since 1994. 
Algeria announced its decision to close the borders after Morocco imposed visa regulations on Algerian tourists in the wake of a terror attack on the Atlas Asni hotel in Marrakech.

However, the political crisis between the two countries preceded the border closure.  The Algerian regime supports, finances, arms, and trains the Polisario Front — a separatist group that claims independence in the Western Sahara region in southern Morocco.

“It is not the border closure in itself that worries me, but the lack of effort,” Attaf commented in the now widely reported televised segment, stressing that “all the Algerian heads of state have made the settlement of the Western Sahara conflict and cooperation with Morocco a priority.”

Tensions between Morocco and Algeria escalated further in 2021. In August of that year, Algeria decided to cut diplomatic ties with Morocco and closed the airspace with its neighbor, falsely accusing Rabat of undermining Algerian security. 

Source : Moroccoworldnews

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Benny Horace Manning

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