UAE threatens Algeria with sanctions over cooperation with Turkey, report says

UAE threatens Algeria with sanctions over cooperation with Turkey, report says


The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has reportedly threatened Algeria with sanctions over the country's cooperation with Turkey, a report said Sunday.

The Emirati authorities have warned their Algerian counterparts and made veiled threats since September, when President Abdelmadjid Tebboune criticized the UAE's normalization of ties with Israel, according to a report by France-based news website Maghreb Intelligence.

The Abu Dhabi administration has conveyed its dismay through informal diplomatic channels, the report said, adding that Tebboune's criticism was seen as an open declaration of hostility.

One such informal diplomatic message was sent to Algeria through Gen. Abdelghani Rachedi, who had previously served as the Algerian military attache in Abu Dhabi and has been serving as the head of Algeria's General Directorate of National Security, the main police force, since late April.

In a letter, the Abu Dhabi administration reportedly said it will not hesitate to adopt economic and political sanctions against Algiers if the government continues to cooperate with “anti-Emirati lobbies” in the region.

Gen. Rachedi reportedly conveyed the message to President Tebboune, who refrained from responding.

The UAE and Algeria had enjoyed favorable relations during military leader Ahmed Gaid Salah's time but the ties deteriorated after Tebboune's election.

In September, the UAE and fellow Gulf state Bahrain became the first Arab states in a quarter of a century to establish formal ties with Israel, forming a new axis in the Middle East against Iran.

Palestinian groups have denounced the deal, saying it ignores the rights of the Palestinians and does not serve the Palestinian cause. The deals broke with decades of Arab consensus that there would be no normalization of relations with Israel until it had made peace with the Palestinians.

In a speech at the 75th United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 23, a week after the U.S.-brokered deal, President Tebboune said the Palestinian people's right to have a state with Jerusalem as the capital was not up for bargaining.

“The Palestinian cause remains a sacred cause for Algeria and its people,” Tebboune said.

The Algerian president had also sided with Turkey and the Government of National Accord (GNA) in the Libya conflict, saying that Tripoli is a “red line no one should cross.”

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Tebboune held bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the Berlin conference on Libya in January and have been supporting a political solution to the conflict.

Turkey and Algeria also signed a joint statement to establish a high-level cooperation council between the two countries to enhance ties.

Relations between Turkey and the UAE have hit an all-time low, and Erdoğan had previously announced that Ankara may suspend its diplomatic relations with the Abu Dhabi administration after the UAE-Israel deal.

Turkish officials said the UAE supports terrorist organizations that target Turkey and has become a useful political and military tool for other countries.

The UAE is a part of a Saudi-led coalition in Yemen that launched a devastating air campaign to roll back Houthi territorial gains in 2015, further escalating the crisis in the war-torn country. In Libya, Abu Dhabi backs putschist Gen. Khalifa Haftar and seeks to oust the legitimate U.N.-recognized GNA. In Syria, it supports the Bashar Assad regime in its offensive against democracy and civil rights. Turkish officials have also accused the UAE of offering financial and logistical support to the PKK terrorist group to carry out attacks on Turkey.

In August, Turkey's National Intelligence Organization (MIT) revealed that the UAE, in cooperation with Israel, was going to try to destabilize Turkey, Iran and Qatar. It added that the wanted UAE spy Mohammed Dahlan, who maintains contact with some recently established media outlets in Turkey, serves the cause by channeling funds to these organizations.

Last year, Turkey also revealed that the Emirati spy network has been operating all over the country.