To avoid the criticism levelled at his predecessor, Xavier Driencourt, the new French ambassador in Algiers, François Gouyette, is said to have received confidential instructions from the Elysée Palace forbidding him to receive or meet representatives of the Hirak, the popular protest movement demanding regime change in Algeria.
According to our sources, the Elysée also demanded a change of diplomatic personnel in Algiers, imposing in particular on the new ambassador the arrival of a new political adviser, in the person of Souhire Medini, who has a double advantage: a perfect Arabic speaker, she also has strong diplomatic connections in Africa.
The French should be proud. Their values – secularism, citizenship, equality – are today being waved in bruised and divided countries, where we didn’t expect it. In Lebanon, huge crowds, young, colorful, united beyond their differences, demand that an end is being put to the old confessional system. Born after the civil war, hostile to the manipulation of their small country by rival and predatory powers, Saudi Arabia and Iran, these demonstrators reinvent, in Levant, the beautiful “fatherland” word. Hezbollah, contested for the first time in its own strongholds, vainly sends its soldiers to attempt to crush the movement.