Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Statesman in time of turmoil

Fears have come up again as regards president Abdelaziz Bouteflika‘s health state after the postponement of Geman Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to algeria on February, 20.

Observers are accustomed to see the president hosting some of the pillars of the Algerian State or its guests either pale or sick. Whatever the fears of the future of Algeria, the sisterly country is ready for all the unexpected scenarios, because Algeria went through the toughest crisis and turbulences under Bouteflika’s leadership.

The latter has spent the longest period in the presidency of Algeria. He is the leader who is faithful to the unity of Algeria, with a great concern for co-existence of Algerians under the tent of the state and its institutions.

It is worth reminding that the President experienced the suppression of colonialism and lived the period of freedom fighting among the most prominent activist for power.

He was an eye witness of the period of the former famous leaders who passed away. Each one of them had a special story of the political events in the history of Algeria.

Bouteflika tested the sincere and unbridled desire of the Maghreb people who are looking for the nearest paths towards freedom, democracy and the dream of unity.

History reminds us that during decades of tumultuous political storms, Bouteflika had been a young foreign minister for 16 years, he had faced the most important exams of power and authority under the command of Haouari Boumediene, the former president who conducted with him the coup against Ahmed Ben Bella in 1963.

Armed with Algeria’s bleeding history, Bouteflika  contributed to silence the loud guns in more than a map, protecting the border from any attacks, while striving to dispel international quarrels so as to restore peace and contributed to ensure the sovereignty of some states.

The art of diplomacy was the umbrella of this young minister. So, no wonder that Tunisian prominent politicians praised his qualities in this art.

In the recent period, there were many statements and reports about the health of president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, and even Beji Caid Essebssi’s, with the aim of inciting to chaos in Algeria as though what happened in neighbouring Libya by the Godfather of chaos Bernard Levy and others demons is not enough.

It is clear that Algerians are sensitive to the issue of interfering in their internal affairs under any pretext especially in these delicate circumstances. They eventually do not want to pay another bill whose cost might be very high. The demand of the positive change is in the philosophy of Bouteflika but away from foreign dictations which sharply increased in recent times.

As Tunisians, Bouteflika remains a close friend of Tunisia who shares with it heartfelt feelings of respect and esteem.

Indeed,  his friend late Mohamed Masmoudi, former Foreign Minister, told me that the president was very close to the Tunisians and their different statesmen, at the front of whom late Wassila Bourguiba…

The Tunisian politicians keep in mind his sustainable respect of the neighbouring relations and his support to the Tunisians in their hardships.

There is no doubt that the Tunisian people extend him all the respect he deserves as a great statesman.

After January 14, 2011, the Tunisian politicians often seek support from neighbour Algeria when their path went wrong and open to horrors.

In fact, Beji Caid Essebsi and Rached Ghannouchi visited him on several occasions along with Prime ministers Hamadi Jebali, Ali Laarayedh, Mehdi Jomaa, Habib Essid and Youssef Chahed.

President Bouteflika was the first personality that the Tunisians preserve the bonds of affection and respect for him. History witnesses that they did not interfere in the internal affairs of other states.

Accordingly, Bouteflika is aware of the way he deals with the harsh and violent events Tunisia went through over the last 6 years by giving the Tunisians a glimpse of hope.

What the Tunisian people need is not only an economic back-up and joint projects, but also sincere wills that strengthen convergence and confidence to dissipate differences between the countries in the region by speeding up the establishment of the Arab Maghreb entity and guaranteeing the resumption of peace in Libya as well as putting an end to the disputes between Algeria and Morocco.

In fact, the visit of King Mohamed VI to Tunisia during the difficult time it went through was a clear message to the whole world and in his Habib Bourguiba’s avenue promenade, that Tunisia is cohesive despite its injuries. He came to support our country in such hard circumstances, when visitors refrain from coming to Tunisia.

In these difficult junctures, the King of Morocco was supportive to the Tunisians though some tried to turn a blind eye to this initiative.

Algeria under the leadership of Bouteflika has always been the sustainable and vigilant assistant to secure the success of the difficult transition period in Tunisia.

Pending the resolution of the crisis, we hope that the leaders of the regions achieve success of restoring peace and stability in Libya which is a historical exam for all the leaders.

Chedly Berhouma


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