Ahmed Attaf, the foreign minister of Algeria, was in the United States for a two-day visit when he had a disagreement with Antony Blinken, his American counterpart, about the Sahara.
Even though Blinken declared that he fully supported the UN’s political process, Algeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs had claimed that both ministers supported attempts to get the opposing sides to participate in the process without conditions.
On Wednesday, August 9, Attaf met with his American counterpart, Blinken. The conversation centered on the “partnership with Algeria and consultations on common priorities,” such as the stability of the Sahel region and peace initiatives in Ukraine.
In a press release from the Algerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it was stated that Blinken and Attaf “discussed the latest developments of the Western Sahara question and reiterated their support for the efforts of the Personal Envoy of the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Staffan de Mistura, to make it possible for the two conflicting parties to take the United Nations-led political process seriously and without conditions.”
The US State Department swiftly contrasted this by issuing a press release in which it reiterated the ministers’ support for Staffan de Mistura’s negotiations with all parties involved, including Algeria, “to reach a political solution for Western Sahara,” without making any mention of conditions.
Met with Algerian Foreign Minister @AhmedAttaf_Dz to discuss the U.S.-Algeria partnership and consult on shared priorities, including stability in the Sahel and a just and durable peace in Ukraine. We also affirmed our full support for the UN political process for Western Sahara.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) August 9, 2023
The two sides talked about regional developments, focusing in particular on the situations in Niger, Mali, and Libya. They underlined the coherence of their individual stances and their efforts to seek diplomatic solutions to these issues in order to spare the area the dangers involved with the armed course of action.
The two ministers also spoke about the developments surrounding the Palestinian issue in light of the blocked chances for the political process to resume.