|05ALGIERS1422||2005-07-14 08:51:00||CONFIDENTIAL||Embassy Algiers|
1. (U) During a visit to Casablanca on July 12, French
Foreign Minister Phillipe Douste-Blazy gave an interview to
the Moroccan daily Le Matin Du Sahara commenting on the need
for resolution of the Western Sahara dispute. Douste-Blazy
stated that France, like Spain and its other partners, was
convinced that a direct political dialogue between Algeria
and Morocco on the Western Sahara question was needed to
create an equitable settlement.
2. (U) Algerian commentators were quick to note that
Dauste-Blazy's comments appeared to be somewhat contrary to
the standard French position to support U.N. Security Council
Resolution 1598, which names only the GOM and the Polisario,
not Algeria, as parties to the conflict.
FRENCH CALL PROVOKES ALGERIAN REACTION
3. (U) Former Foreign Minister and current Minister of
State Abdelaziz Belkhadem promptly retorted that Algeria does
not need "intermediaries" to help it manage its relations
with its neighbors. "We do not need the Spanish or French
Foreign Ministers to invite us to a dialogue." Continuing,
Belkhadem said, "Nothing prevents a direct dialogue with
Morocco....We remain faithful to our position on the
international legality in all questions of decolonialization,
notably Western Sahara." Belkhadem also said Algeria had no
differences with Morocco except for the Western Sahara.
4. (C) Belkhadem's quick reaction to the French Foreign
Minister's statement sends a clear message: the GOA continues
to reject French attempts at mediation with Morocco.