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Home » India Vetoed Algeria BRICS+ Entry at France’s Request: Report

India Vetoed Algeria BRICS+ Entry at France’s Request: Report

by Benoy Mazumdar
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Algeria’s long-awaited ascension to BRICS+ failed to materialize last week during the bloc’s summit in South Africa, as Arabic media says India used its veto against the North African nation at the request of France.

Informed sources that spoke with Algeria’s Dzair Tube say French intelligence contacted their Indian counterparts ahead of the BRICS+ summit to urge New Delhi into vetoing Algeria’s entry to the bloc, describing the move as “revenge” for Algiers’ growing influence in the Sahel region “at the expense” of France and as a way to slow down burgeoning ties between Algeria and China.

Tensions between Paris and Algiers spiked after a military junta ousted the French-backed government in Niger, in the latest example of a growing anti-west movement in the Sahel. Since then, Algeria has opposed an ECOWAS military operation in Niger, emphasized the role of diplomacy in bringing about a peaceful solution to the crisis, and refused permission for French military aircraft to fly over Algerian airspace.

The French plot took shape in the wake of a failed bid by President Emmanuel Macron to attend the summit in South Africa.

India saw an opportunity in the request from Paris, as officials were reportedly offered western help to “fill the void” left in former French colonies that have recently risen against neocolonial rule and extend its influence in a vital continent for BRICS+.

While France has maintained close ties with successive Indian governments for decades – being the only European permanent member of the UN Security Council that supported India’s nuclearization in 1998 – their relationship has grown closer under Macron, who in 2019 supported India’s position at the UN over occupied Kashmir and has sealed multiple defense agreements with the South Asian nation.

In 2018, Macron declared during a visit to India that France “must be India’s best partner in Europe and its gateway to the European continent.”

Nonetheless, India’s veto against Algeria led to a dispute with China during the voting process, which reportedly almost caused the “ failure of the Johannesburg summit.” Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva also opposed Algeria’s entry, according to Anadolu Agency.

China sees great potential in the North African country joining BRICS+ due to its massive fuel reserves, minimal national debt, and its strategic location between Europe and sub-Saharan Africa. China is also funding the rehabilitation of the strategic Port of El Hamdania, as Algeria remains an essential part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Russia has similarly voiced its support for Algeria’s entry to the Global South bloc, which last week formally invited Iran, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, and Ethiopia to join its ranks.

But while Algeria surpasses Ethiopia in the size of the economy and oil production and the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Egypt, and Ethiopia in terms of the volume of gas exports, the country does not control any strategic water straits or host any major regional institutions.

Previous reports on why Algeria was left out in the cold have also pointed to the nation’s dependence on oil and gas revenues, sometimes reaching 98 percent of the economy. The size of the economy was also questioned, as it amounted to about $192 billion in 2022, according to World Bank figures, while the country’s growth rate falls just below the five percent threshold of BRICS+ nations.

Source : TheCradle

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