Algeria–Saudi Arabia relations

Algeria–Saudi Arabia relations refer to diplomatic and economic relations between the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Both countries are, respectively, the first and second largest Arab states although Algeria is an African country while Saudi Arabia is a Middle Eastern country.[1]

Algeria–Saudi Arabia relations


Saudi Arabia

History and political relations

Algeria has consulate general in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia,[2] while Saudi Arabia has embassy in Algiers.[3] Both countries are the members of the Arab League[4] and the OPEC.[5]

Saudi Arabia actively supported the Algerian revolution in 1954 that led to the emancipation of Algeria from the French occupation.[6] On 24 November 1986 two countries signed economic, cultural and technical agreements.[7] In March 1987 the ruler of Saudi Arabia, King Fahd, paid an official visit to the capital city of Algeria, Algiers, and met President Chadli Bendjedid.[8] During the 1980s Algerian young people were sent by the Algerian government to Saudi Arabia for education in the Islamic sciences.[9] This strengthened the Da’wa Salafism, a Salafi inspired social movement, in Algeria.[9]

During the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq in 1990 Algeria did not openly oppose the intervention against Kuwait although Algeria didn't support Saddam Hussein's Iraq, leading to tense relations with Saudi Arabia which defended Kuwait.[10]

Unlike Saudi Arabia, Algeria did not support the decision of the Arab League to assist Arab states that armed opposition groups in the Syrian civil war that began in 2011.[11] Algeria also refused to back the Saudi-led coalition against the Houthis amidst the war in Yemen.[12]

Algerian Civil War

In 1992, Saudi Arabia backed the Algerian army's coup against the government following the Islamic Salvation Front's victory in the 1991 Algerian legislative election.[13]

During the Algerian Civil War, the Islamists, notably Armed Islamic Group of Algeria, was supported by Saudi Arabia as well as Iran, Sudan, Morocco and Libya. Algeria had accused Saudi Arabia and these latter nations for their role that caused the deaths of 200.000 Algerians throughout the war. This war quickly changed the view of Chadli Bendjedid, and later, Algerian leaders as well as majority of Algerian population, about Saudi Arabia from friendly to negative, a legacy that remains heavily in Algeria today and the main reason for Algeria's political rifts from Saudi Arabia.

Qatar–Saudi Arabia standoff

Algeria has favored a resolution of political agreement between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, therefore portraying themselves as a neutral party during the Qatar crisis.[14]

Mohammed bin Salman's visit to Algeria in 2018

Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, paid a two-day visit to Algeria as part of his tour across the Arab World in November 2018, in which he and Ahmed Ouyahia signed an economic cooperation, security and trade pacts.[15] However, his trip to Algeria was marred with the wake of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, with a number of Algerians openly protesting against his visit,[16][17] and the host also welcomed him coldly with President Abdelaziz Bouteflika refusing to meet him, citing flu as a health reason for his refusal.[18][19]

Saudi Arabia attempted to improve once-strained ties with Algeria following the deterioration of Morocco–Saudi Arabia relations in late 2018 and early 2019, including shifting towards the Algerian stance on the Western Sahara dispute.[20]

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and King Salman of Saudi Arabia reportedly differed on the 2019 Algerian protests, with the King favouring freer coverage of the protests in the Saudi press, while the Crown Prince endorsed a hardline approach towards suppressing the protests.[21]

Economic ties

Saudi Arabia established the Saudi Fund for Development in Algeria.[22] There is also the Algerian-Saudi joint committee which organizes meetings between two countries.[23] Between 1987 and the invasion of Kuwait in 1990 Algeria enjoyed financial support of Saudi Arabia.[24]

As of 2012 Saudi Arabia had investments in Algeria in pharmacological, cement, mineral, paper and chemical fields which amounted SR3.5 billion.[2] It was SR3 billion, equal to $856 million, in 2011.[6]

See also


  1. "Arabs" (6th Edition). The Columbia Encyclopedia. 2013. Retrieved 27 January 2014.  via Questia (subscription required)
  2. Fouzia Khan (19 November 2013). "Algeria celebrates National Day". Arab News. Jeddah. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  3. "Saudi ambassador to Algeria Receives President of Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution". Saudi Press Agency. Algiers. 2 June 2013. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  4. "Arab League" (6th Edition). The Columbia Encyclopedia. 2013. Retrieved 27 January 2014.  via Questia (subscription required)
  5. "Algeria steps up oil and gas investment, production: minister". UMCI News. 16 May 2008. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  6. Roberta Fedele (15 November 2012). "Algerian expats pay tributes to independence war martyrs". Saudi Gazette. Jeddah. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  7. "International Agreements". SAGIA. Archived from the original on 27 January 2014. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  8. "Saudi King Visits Algeria". Los Angeles Times. Algiers. Reuters. 12 March 1987. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  9. Amel Boubekeur (September 2008). "Salafism and Radical Politics in Postconflict Algeria" (Paper series (No=11)). Carnegie Endowment. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  10. Saudi Arabia Central Bank and Financial Policy Handbook. Int'l Business Publications. 2005. p. 24. ISBN 978-0-7397-1375-4.
  11. Ghaffar Hussein (25 March 2013). "After the Arab Spring: Algeria's standing in a new world". The Commentator. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  12. "Saudi and Qatar ask Algeria to join force in Yemen". Middle East Eye. 27 October 2016.
  13. "Nervous Riyadh anxious about Algiers". Al-Monitor. 27 March 2019.
  14. "Everyone is taking sides in the Qatar crisis. Here's why these four North African states aren't". The Washington Post. 7 September 2017.
  15. "ٍSaudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman signs off Algiers visit with trade, security pact". Arab News. 4 December 2018. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  16. Abdelkader Cheref (30 November 2018). "Mohammed bin Salman's visit to Algeria will be an insult to the nation's history". The Washington Post. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  17. "Saudi crown prince to head to Algeria amid outcry". France 24. 1 December 2018. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  18. "MbS gets cold shoulder in Algeria, delays Jordan visit". Presstv. 4 December 2018. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  19. "Bouteflika, citing flu, scraps talks with Saudi crown prince". AP NEWS. 3 December 2018. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  20. "From amity to enmity: How the alliance between Saudi Arabia and Morocco collapsed". Daily Sabah. 15 February 2019.
  21. "Rumours grow of rift between Saudi king and crown prince". The Guardian. 5 March 2019.
  22. "Saudi-Algerian committee stresses importance of bilateral relations". Saudi Business News. Algiers. Archived from the original on 27 January 2014. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  23. "Algeria seeks closer ties with Saudi Arabia". KUNA. Algiers. 6 December 2012. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  24. Stephen Zunes (Summer 1995). "Algeria, the Maghreb Union, and the Western Sahara Stalemate". Arab Studies Quarterly. 17 (3). Retrieved 27 January 2014.  via Questia (subscription required)
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