The Algerian top-chief of Army, Gen. Said Chanegriha, was invited to pay an extraordinary visit to France, on 23 January, during which he met with President Emmanuel Macron, and the French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu; and then he held talks with his French counterpart Thierry Burkhard to discuss ways of enhancing military and security cooperation, according to the French Defense Ministry.
This visit was put under the spotlight of many journalists, politicians and analysts because of the discretion and the absence of any further details about its objectives.
According to some analysts, two main reasons behind the Algerian Chief of Staff of the People’s National Army (ANP) to Paris: 1/the growing of anti-French sentiment in African Sahel countries, and 2/Arms sales agreements between France and Algeria.
This military cooperation between the two countries is “beneficiary” for both parties: France is in a quest of new customers to promote its weaponry industry, while Algeria tries to find other arms suppliers, besides its traditional ally and main supplier, which is Russia, that’s currently having difficulty providing to its need, because of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. Moreover, Algiers tries, by diversifying its arms suppliers, to avoid the ire of Western countries for its close relations to Russia.
However, security reports point out a negative side effect of this military cooperation, which risks further destabilizing certain regions of the African continent, where armed and separatist terrorist groups are very active, such as: “the Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims” and the “Islamic State in the Greater Sahara” in the Sahel region, not to mention the ” Front of Polisario”, supported financially and militarily by Algeria, which is in conflict with Morocco.