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Algeria Wants to Terminate Contracts with Companies Affiliated with ‘Hostile Lobbies’

Algeria Wants to Terminate Contracts with Companies Affiliated with ‘Hostile Lobbies’

Tuesday, 11 May, 2021 - 09:30
Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune. (Reuters file photo)

The Algerian government is reviewing all contracts and deals between public sector companies and foreign partners concluded in recent years to determine whether they contradict the state's policies and interests.

The presidency canceled all economic and trade agreements with lobbies deemed “hostile to Algeria.”

A government source told Asharq Al-Awsat that the decision created a number of problems for several companies, especially as it might push some to end deals concluded with foreign companies and economic groups belonging to countries that have strained relations with Algeria.

The source warned that the termination of contracts will have a significant financial impact that will harm the battered economy.

President Abdelmadjid Tebboune informed Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad that he received many reports about the involvement of a number of public and private economic in contractual relations with foreign entities, regardless of the national economic and strategic interests.

The president blamed Insurance and Reinsurance Company (CAAR) and the Algerian Insurance Company (SAA) for signing deals with their Moroccan counterparts.

He also referred to the mobile operator, Djezzi, which granted its advertising to companies close to foreign lobbies that are “hostile” to Algeria. He did not elaborate.

Algerian-Moroccan relations have been almost severed since 1994 following their disagreement over the Sahara conflict.

The controversial contracts were concluded by the three companies during the era of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika (1999-2019).

Tebboune’s “instructions”, leaked on Sunday, were issued on April 23 when the president asserted that the contracts were done without prior consultation, stressing that it inevitably “puts sensitive data at the disposal of foreign entities, which would harm vital national interests and security.”

The president instructed the companies to end their contracts with foreign companies and entities within 10 days in order to halt the depletion of hard currency, urging them to be more responsible and cautious in relations with foreign partners.

The president also instructed the Minister of Finance to prevent any profits of such contracts to be transferred abroad, adding that they must be terminated at once.

He warned that any breach of compliance with these instructions will be considered “treachery and collusion”.

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