Research studies

British-Algerian Relations: Are trade and diplomacy compatible

By Ibtissem BRAHIMI – Research study

 Democratic Arab Center


Paying attention to diplomacy is essential in order to understand the world, in this paper the study case is bilateral relations between Algeria and Great Britain from the mid-2000s to the present day. Algeria is a strategic developing country owing to its natural resources and its location in the Sahel and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region while Great Britain is one of the most powerful countries in the contemporary world. Firstly, this paper aims to identify how Algeria is seen in the United Kingdom, and how the Algerian government deals with British representatives. Secondly, to distinguish the real interest of Great Britain in Algeria, a country that usually Great Britain has no special relationships with. The sources consulted, which include governmental documents, non-governmental organisations’ (NGOs) publications and other miscellaneous sources, lead to the conclusion that diplomacy is mainly serving business concerns. Consequently, the idea that diplomacy promotes people’s welfare is doubtful.

List of abbreviations
ABBC: British-Algerian Business Council
Africom: United States Africa Command
AIG/GIA: Armed Islamic Group (Groupe Islamiste Armé)
AIS: Islamic Army of Salvation (Armée Islamique du Salut)
APICORP: Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation
APNA/ANP: Algerian People’s National Army (Armée nationale populaire)
AQLIM: Al Qaeda in the Land of the Islamic Maghreb
ASCOOP: Associative Cooperation
BBC: British Broadcasting Channel
BP: British Petroleum
BPCE: Banque Populaire et Caisse d’Epargne
CGTF: Global Counter-Terrorism Forum
CJB: Constructors John Brown
ECFR: European Council on Foreign Relations
EU. European Union
FAC: Foreign Affairs Committee
FFS: Front of Social Forces (Front des Forces Socialistes)
FO: Foreign Office
GDP: Gross Domestic Product
GFP: Global Fire Power
GSPC: Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (Groupe Salafiste pour la Prédication et le Combat)
IFS/FIS: Islamic Front of Salvation (Front Islamique du Salut)
IMF: International Monetary Fund
ISIS: Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Daech)
LNG: Liquefied Natural Gas
MENA: Middle East and North Africa
MNLA: National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad
NLF/FLN: National Liberal Front (Front de Liberté Nationale)
NON: Non Aligned Movement
NPO: Non-Profit Organisation
PM: prime minister
OPEC: Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries
RCD: Rally for Cultural and Democracy (Rassemblement pour la Culture et la Démocratie)
SIRIP: Stockholm International Research Institute for Peace
NCIV/SNVI: National Company of Industrial Vehicles (Société nationale des véhicules industriels)
TSCTP: Trans Sahara Counter Terrorism Partnership
UAE: United Arab Emirates
UK: United Kingdom
UKSF: United Kingdom Special Forces
UKTI DSO: United Kingdom Trade and Invest Defence and Security Organisation
UKTI: United Kingdom Trade and Invest
UN: United Nations
USA: United States of America

“Diplomacy and virtue do not make easy companions.” -Iain Pears (1)
In the aftermath of Algerian Independence on 5th July 1962, Pan-Arabism (2), Pan- Africanism (3), subscription to the United Nations (UN) resolutions, and later the application of Union Soviet’s economic model, helped the newly independent nation of Algeria to find its place in the world. Through the decades Algerian diplomacy had developed by its involvement to end many conflicts peacefully such as the crisis between Iran and Iraq in 1975, Algerian mediated talks of 1981 between the United States (US) and Iran to release the American hostages held in Tehran in 1980, etc. But the tragic events of the black decade in the 1990s isolated Algeria from the international scene until the mid-2000s. Usually Algerian diplomacy with Western nations is related to France owing to the French colonial past in Algeria while relations with Great Britain are barely recognized, apart from published documents by official institutions like the Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC), the UK Trade and Invest department (UKTI), or Embassies, etc. It is tough to find sources about Algeria and the UK at this level. Most of academic works about Algeria are on the Algerian French colonial past (1830-1962) and the Algerian war of liberation (1954-1962) (4).
Also, only few studies are written in English; works in Arabic and French are far more frequent. However, there is interesting research on Algeria written in English whether by Algerians or others and most of them deal with Algerian terrorism. Karima Bennoune in her book Your fatwa Does not apply here, untold stories from the fight against Muslim Fundamentalism (2013) went back to the Algerian black decade, likewise the Independent collection of articles, Robert Fisk on Algeria 1992-2013 (2013), plus other journal articles “Savage Wars? Codes of Violence in Algeria, 1830-1999s” by James McDougal, “Armed Islamist Movement and Political Violence in Algeria” by Mohamed M. Hafez, “Suicide Attacks in Algeria: Al-Qaeda in the Land of the Islamic Maghreb (AQLIM)” by Anneli Botha, and so forth also covered this period. Regarding the Algerian economic sector and especially hydrocarbons, Algeria, the Political Economy of Oil and Gas (2001) by Ali Aîssaoui remains a worthy published work in English on the Algerian hydrocarbons policy as it gives important details about the history of Algerian hydrocarbons and its development, especially after the nationalization of 1971 until 2000.

Algeria is one of those very complex countries to understand and to work with, a point the former US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton confirmed in her book Hard Choices (2014)(5). For long years Algerian diplomacy with Western countries was mainly orientated towards France, not only because of the French colonial past in Algeria but also because of strategic and economic reasons, like hydrocarbons(6) and immigration advantages (7). Through the decades Algeria did not remain a French exclusivity and the coming of Abdelaziz Bouteflika as President in April 1999, the pro multi-economic partners, changed so many things in Algeria. Great Britain, for example, expressed interest in working with Algeria in 2006 (8). However, the interest of Great Britain in Algeria is surprising, Great Britain the other imperialist power and the inventor of the Commonwealth of Nations (9), expressing a keen interest in Algeria, the former French colony having Arabo-Muslim culture, and despite unfavourable factors like terrorism and bureaucracy. It is not a fortuitous interest since this interest is motivated by a precise purpose; promoting UK trade in Algeria at all levels, but also to prop arms sales exports to Algeria. This paper examines how diplomacy and trade are linked concerning Algeria.

The present work composed of two parts is an attempt to shed some light on how Great Britain since the mid-2000s has been working in Algeria to earn a lucrative market and to promote arms sales exports. The first part the Algerian Market for Great Britain despite Terrorism aims to introduce Algeria to the reader in order to understand the functioning of the Algerian policy and Algerian economy. It will also refer to terrorism Algeria witnessed in the 1990s to clarify the trade’s risks in the area, and then the British and Algerian connection will be illustrated. The second part the Algerian Market for Great Britain: beyond Hydrocarbons aims to explain Algerian hydrocarbons policy and how international firms like British Petroleum (BP) are working in Algeria, how Great Britain works through its firms, and BP lobby in Algeria to earn more contracts in the Algerian market and to promote British arms sales exports. Finally, more generally how the UK arms sales transfers policy works out will be shown. The idea of this work is to illustrate that diplomacy in the name of people’s welfare is often a guise to enhance business.
I. The Algerian Market for Great Britain despite Terrorism
The current complex situation in the Sahel does not only affect the local population and its government, but it also affects the international partners operating in the region. Algeria owing to its location is more than ever a strategic junction for these international partners like Great Britain. To understand why Great Britain is operating in Algeria despite the shadow of terrorism it is essential to present first Algeria, and then define terrorism, to finally show how the bilateral relationships between Algeria and Great Britain work in the areas trade and security affairs.
1. Algeria
1.1 Geography:
People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria is an African, Maghrebi and Arabo-Amazigh country, situated in North Africa, on the Mediterranean coast. The country was declared independent from France in 5th July 1962 (10), with the city of Algiers for a capital. Its surface is equal to 2 381 741 square kilometres, which makes Algeria the tenth-largest country in the world and the biggest in Africa after the split of north and south Sudan in 2011. The Algerian desert, rich in numerous natural resources, represents nearly 80% of the country’s overall area. The country is bordered in the north by the Mediterranean Sea, in the north-east by Tunisia, in the east by Libya, in the west by Morocco, in the south-west by Western Sahara, Mauritania, and Mali, and finally by Niger in the south-east. This location makes Algeria a strategic junction for the international partners.

1.2 Demography:
The Algerian population due to its history is a melting pot of many ethnic roots such as Turks, Byzantines, Romans, Phoenicians, and especially Arabs because of the Islamic conquests (11). Still Amazigh (12) are the native people of Algeria, and most of Algerians are Amazigh by origins, regardless of the existing controversy about the real Algerian national identity question (13). Arabic is the national and official language (14) while Islam is the religion of the State (15). French is widespread because of the colonial past between France and Algeria. However, the influence and the practice of French has extremely declined in the past few decades (16).
1.3 Policy:
a) Algerian interior policy at a glance:
Publicly, Algeria is a republic (17) and the president elected by the people is the highest chief executive of the country. The executive power, the legislature’s power and the judiciary power are the three components of the constitution. Massive riots in October 1988 (18) obliged President Chadli Bendjedid (19) and his government to abandon the system of the single party (20) in favour of the multi-party system. Yet, Algeria is not a proper democracy for the reason that the army has always been the absolute ruler under the guise of the single party (21).
b) Algerian diplomacy overview:
Algeria has respectable diplomatic relations with both Western and Eastern countries, and continually favours the use of diplomatic approaches to resolve international conflicts (22). Algiers agreement to end the crisis between Iran and Iraq in 1975, Algerian mediated talks of 1981 between the United States and Iran to release the American hostages held in Tehran in 1980, the Peace Agreement of 2000 between Eritrea and Ethiopia in war since 1997, the friendship treaty of 2003 between France and Algeria (23), or recently the Malian peace and reconciliation agreement of 2015, etc. are some examples of this doctrine. Moreover, Algeria is subscribed to the resolutions of the United Nations (UN) since October 1962 (24) , as well it promotes and encourages the right of people to freedom (25) as it is the case with Palestine and Western Sahara (26). During the black decade (1990s) Algeria knew a period of isolation, only Cuba and China kept ‘normal’ diplomatic relations with Algeria (27). After a bloody decade Algeria has come back to the international scene. Under the presidency of Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the Algerian diplomacy was oriented to work with the US administration over anti-terrorism (28).
Relations with China developed significantly as numerous important commercial contracts were signed making the Chinese community in 2013 the first foreign community in Algeria (about 70.000) after the French one (about 32.000) (29). Commercial moves with Italy and Spain were also engaged. Relations with France and Russia were revived. Relations with the Golf countries such as, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) recorded important connections (30). Relations with Morocco experienced noticeable improvements despite the disagreement over the Western Sahara conflict (31). And bilateral relations with Great Britain recorded a new beginning; this point will be examined further on.
1.4 Economy
Since independence, the Algerian economy has always been founded on its natural wealth (32), especially gas and oil. However, Algeria has several manufacturing groups dominating the local market, particularly in food, electronic and mechanisation production. For example, Cevital (33) (food), Condor (electronics), and SNVI (34) (mechanisation) groups are very active and help to meet the local demand at a lower cost for both the citizens and the State. Still the Algerian economy is chiefly based on its hydrocarbon potential; according to a 2013 study conducted by Natixis (35) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)(36), oil incomes in Algeria recorded an average of 98% gross domestic product (GDP) between 2006 and 2013. (Castilo and Osman: 2013)

The European market alone accounts for the half of the Algerian international trade (54.1%). Spain, Italy, France, the Netherlands and Great Britain are the main countries to whom Algeria exports hydrocarbons. This European market scored an average of $60 (€54) billions in 2013. Moreover, Algeria is the third gas supplier to Europe after Russia and Norway, i.e. the first energy supplier to Europe in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region; this cooperation represents an overall of 15 to 20 % of the European gas needs (37).
The Algerian authorities also know full well that in the nearer future the country cannot do without hydrocarbons, regardless of the decrease in production. In fact, Algeria has reached its oil peak of production in 2007. “Crude oil and gross natural gas production have gradually declined in recent years, mainly because of repeated project delays resulting from slow government approval, difficulties attracting investment partners, infrastructure gaps, and technical problems. ” (38)
Hence, the decision from the Algerian government to boost foreign investment in energy exploration introducing new measures like Algeria’s hydrocarbons law that was passed in2005 and amended in 2013. The Algerian authorities have implemented this law to attract more foreign investors to explore unexplored resources including shale gas (39). This alternative would permit the Algerian government to avoid an expected social and economic chaos in case of Algeria would run out of oil by the next decade. A 2008 study done by the Chatham House (40) pointed out that Algeria would not be able to export oil after 2023 (41).“Without the discovery of new oil reserves, the country could lose its status as an oil producer by 2026.” (42) Even if recent forecasts in Algeria affirm that oil production will not expire till 2037. It is important to indicate that Algeria totally failed in its attempt to get rid of hydrocarbons dependence by diversifying its economy and revenues by other means such as solar energy, private local investments, tourism, agriculture and heavy industry. Likewise, oil importing countries also failed to get rid of hydrocarbons dependence (regardless of the existing efforts) for renewable resource usage. However, at the current moment this option is profitable for the Algerian authorities as well their international partners.
In fact, Algeria’s hydrocarbons policy is gainful for both the Algerian regime and its international investors like Great Britain obtains 10% of its gas supply from Algeria. It will be explained further on, why Algeria had totally dropped what Ali Aissaoui (43) calls Sonatrach’s ‘do it alone’ strategy (44) to attract foreign investment, in order to diversify its customers, and how does Algeria’s hydrocarbons law that was amended in 2013 serve foreign firms like British Petroleum (BP) to invest and trade in Algeria.
2. Algeria and Terrorism
What is terrorism? What was the kind of terrorism Algeria witnessed in the 1990s? And how did Algerian terrorism develop to be a threat for Algeria and its Western trading partners like Great Britain?
2.1. Definition of terrorism:
The 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center (New York) and the Pentagon (Washington, D.C) definitely made terrorism very well-known. In other terms, the duty to self-protection and the notion of terror which media largely contributed to popularise, the 9/11 over-mediatisation is a point Douglas Kellner denounced: “The images of the planes hitting the World Trade Center towers and their collapse were broadcast repeatedly, as if repetition were necessary to master a highly traumatic event.” (45) Although, terrorism is not a new phenomenon (46) still to define it remains a tough task to do and this for several reasons. According to Hennebel and Lewkowicz, there are four approaches which define terrorism; politics, the law, sociology, and history (47). And just the study of each of the above aspects is in itself a challenge. Plus, if people might share common points in their history (wars, famine, revolutions, victories, etc.) Nevertheless, every nation has its own specific past.
To try to define terrorism, it will be firstly referred to Noam Chomsky, who defines terrorism through two approaches which are the literal approach and the propagandistic approach. To sum up, the literal approach is to recognize the elements of terrorism, then to seek its instances, to finally attempt to determine its causes and remedies. Whereas the propagandistic approach is something else, usually used by governments to anchor a specific belief in the common minds (48) “There are two ways to approach the study of terrorism. One may adopt a literal approach, taking the topic seriously, or a propagandistic approach, construing the concept of terrorism as a weapon to be exploited in the service of some system of power. In each case it is clear how to proceed. Pursuing the literal approach, we begin by determining what constitutes terrorism. We then seek instances of the phenomenon – concentrating on major examples, if we are serious – and try to determine causes and remedies. The propagandistic approach dictates a different course. We begin with the thesis that terrorism is the responsibility of some officially designated enemy. We then designate terrorist acts as ‘terrorist’ just in the cases where they can be attributed (whether plausibly or not) to the required source; otherwise they are to be ignored, suppressed or termed ‘retaliation’ or ‘self-defence.” (49)
While in his book entitled Terrorism (El Irhab: 2011) Mohamed Messouad Kirat defined terrorism as the use of any aggressive behaviour, whether material or moral, that is expressed outwardly or inwardly to threaten, intimidate, and terrorize the innocents to harm them physically, intellectually, emotionally, spiritually and even to affect them in their properties and interests, regardless of the tool used (50). This is an interesting definition which might be completed by the US army manual definition: “The calculated use of violence or threat of violence to attain goals that are political, religious, or ideological in nature…through intimidation, coercion, or instilling fear.” (51)
From all above chosen definitions, the made conclusion is that terrorism is the use of violence, whatever its form is, to obtain specific advantages which might be political, economic, religious, social or even cultural. Nevertheless, it must be pointed out in addition to what was said that terrorism is an intended violence habitually practised by well financed and hidden organizations or groups, which have supremacy (i.e. power and wealth) for main goal, and this in order to defend and prop up a precise ideology (at the expense of peoples’ lives) no matter what its nature is. In the following section, it will be seen how the lust for power in Algeria turned into terrorism during the 1990s.
2.2. Algerian terrorism (a brief introduction):
The 1988 October riots obliged President Chadli Bendjedid and his government to face people’s anger. These riots led indirectly to the collapse of the single party system (permitting the army to dominate the country and its wealth) in favour of the multi-party system. In 1989, a new constitution allowing the creation of political parties was approved by the parliament, a premier in post independent Algeria. Also, this approach was seen by an introduction to the democratic transition process.
Following this constitutional change, around 60 parties took part in the 1990 municipal elections, nevertheless only the Islamic Front of Salvation (FIS), the National Liberal Front (FLN), the Front of Socialist Forces (FFS), and the Rally for Culture and Democracy (RCD) did win seats (52). Lahouari Addi categorized the political optics of this top four as the following: administration (FLN) secular (FFS and RCD), and Islamist (FIS) (53).Moreover, if Hocine Ait Ahmed (FFS) and Said Saadi (RCD) were already known amongst the Algerian politician actors, undoubtedly Madani Abassi and Ali Belhadj (FIS) were the two most important faces of the new Algerian political scene.

Madani Abassi, (b.1931) is a former member of the Algerian People’s Party of Algeria (PPA)54. He was jailed in 1954 by the French army for eight years because of his actions promoting the national cause. For that reason, he spent the whole Algerian War (1954-62) at the penitentiary of Barberousse (nowadays Serkadji) in Algiers, where he learnt English. After independence, he studied philosophy at the University of Algiers and defended a doctoral thesis by the early 1970s. He taught humanities at the University of Bouzareah (Algiers). Then, he moved to London, where he took a second PhD degree in educational studies, a diploma he prepared from 1975 to 1978. Once back to Algeria, he was appointed teacher of educational psychology at the University of Algiers. He used to be a FLN member (55) before turning to religious fundamentalism. He was arrested and once more jailed in 1982 because of his political-religious views, to be released two years later. Following the riots of October 1988, he launched officially the Islamic Front of Salvation (FIS) with Ali Belhadj, the future N°2 of the party, at El Sunna mosque located in Bab El Oued (Algiers) (56).

Ali Belhadj (b.1956) is an imam who received his education at the Islamic Madrassa (57). He has outstanding oratory skills which gives him charisma while preaching and teaching Arabic in Algiers mosques, notably in the popular quarter of Bab El Oued. According to journalist Saad Lounes, the fact Ali Belhadj had a complicated childhood with no assured information about his real origins led him to turn to religion, his only credible reference (58). Like his mentor Madani Abassi, Ali Belhadj has also been jailed many times between 1991 and 2006 owing to his political connection with the FIS and terrorism (59).

At the beginning, the intention of the Islamic Front of Salvation (FIS) was not political but associative (60). Yet, the desire to get rid of the ruling party to establish an Islamic State in Algeria made the FIS political. The FIS leaders throughout their strict programme could seduce the majority of the people to vote for them in the name of Islam (61). For the FIS, the FLN is applying the West’s values and not the principles of Islam, as democracy cannot be compatible with Islam, though the FIS itself was legalized via the political reforms of the third constitution (62). The FIS leaders promoted the installation of the Sharia (the Islamic law) to ban corruption and any evil infecting the Muslim Algerian society. On the whole, that is how FIS leaders could convince a hopeless people of the legality of their fight against the ‘apostates’ who have been stealing the people’s wealth since the independence. (Martinez and Touati)

In reality, the damaged economic, social and political situation in Algeria that triggered the 1988 October riots helped the Political Islam to earn legitimacy through its chief party the FIS between 1989 and 1991. The majority of those who voted FIS in the 1990 local elections (63) were in jobless and marginalized. The FIS represented for these people the radical change and the hope they were waiting for. Furthermore, it is worth to mention that till nowadays, the FIS is the only political party which made the Algerian people stand up against the ruling party (FLN), something secular and socialist parties did not. “The Islamists mobilized a substantial part of society for political action and challenged the order that had existed since independence. Even though they did not succeed in overthrowing the existing system, they contributed to changing some of its fundamental attributes, something that the secular opposition had failed to do since independence.” (64)
Following this fervour from the people, the FIS won the first round of the parliamentary elections held in late December 1991(65), it was obvious for the regime that the FIS would also win the second round of the election. Thus, to prevent the expected victory from the Islamists, the regime cancelled the second round of the elections scheduled for mid January 1992, and President Chadli Benjeded was obliged to resign (66). State emergency was declared and Mohamed Boudiaf back from exile (Morocco) was appointed to govern the country (67). In March 1992, the FIS was banned from any political activity, while their leaders were all arrested, plus the detention of thousands of activists. These measures proved, once more, that the Algerian regime has not any legacy. For FIS supporters the fact that the regime banned their party, which aimed to make Algeria an Islamic State, is the evidence that Algeria is governed by the enemy of Allah (God), and so, the call for the jihad (holy war) is permitted. “Islamist militants are mujahedin (combatants) fighting a holy war for the recovery of Algeria’s ‘authentic values’ and the popular sovereignty of the mustadaafin (the oppressed) against the corruption and tyranny of those who have ‘betrayed’ the promise of the revolution, against the traitors of the ‘party of France’ (hizb fransa) (68) who have compromised Algeria’s true destiny.” (69)
The FIS leaders call for jihad to reach an authority they won democratically through the ballots (70) and the regime’s obstinacy to remain at the head of the country triggered the civil war. By the use of violence, neither the Algerian regime nor the FIS proved that none of them was fit to govern in Algeria. Following these events, Algeria became the theatre of daily violence, and the evolution of terrorism during the black decade made Algeria be ranked among the most unsafe countries in the world. If currently the country is somewhat stable, it still remains a fertile land for terrorists. The assassination of French tourist Hervé Gourdel (71) near Tizi Ouzou(72) in September 2014 by terrorist group Jounoud El Kalifaa (73), an annexe of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS/Daech) in Algeria, confirms this point. Likewise Tigantourine (74) gas plant attack in January 2013 by Al Qaeda in the Land of the Islamic Maghreb (AQLIM) (75) proved that despite high security measures (76), terrorist groups in Algeria are well armed and organised to target important infrastructures at both national and international levels (Algerian Sonatrach, Norwegian Statoil Hydro and British Petroleum).
Nevertheless targeting foreigners is not a novelty for terrorist groups in Algeria. The Armed Islamist Group (AIG/GIA) (77) began threatening foreigners by August 1993, when three employees of the French Consulate were kidnapped in the capital Algiers to be freed some days later (78). A month later, the first terrorist attack targeting foreigners occurred, on 21th September 1993, two French citizens were found with their throat cut near Sidi Bel Abbes (79). Still the most significant terrorist act against foreigners was the assassination of the Monks of Tibhirine (80) in May 1996. Although the investigation to clarify the grey areas of this crime is still ongoing, i.e. was it really an AIG assault or a disguised blunder of the Algerian army? The massacres against civilians and foreigners went on till the early 2000s in Algeria, and over 200 000 victims died during the Algerian national tragedy (81).
On 11th September 1998, President Liamine Zeroual (82) addressed the nation in a speech in which he declared that he would not run for a second mandate. In this declaration, he also informed the people to hold an early presidential election in February 1999 instead of 2000. His successor is Abdelaziz Bouteflika an ex minister, a close friend of the former and very popular president Houari Boumedienne (83), and a pro multi-economic partners (84). A. Bouteflika is behind the Algerian Civil Concord (1999) (85) and the Algerian National Reconciliation referendums (2005) (86) in order to stop violence in the country (87). Yet those measures did not completely stop the violence in Algeria because terrorist groups remained very active in the area.
2.3 Terrorism in Algeria from GSPC to AQLIM:
The emergence of armed Islamist militias is one of the negative consequences of the civil disorder caused by the cancellation of the 1991 election. These groups were highly influenced by what James McDougall qualifies by ‘doctrinal imports’ (88). In the early 1990s, inspired by the Taliban model, hundreds of Algerians went to Afghanistan to train. That was the beginning of terrorism in Algeria, which, however unlikely that may seem till the 9/11 attacks. Algerian terrorism firstly begun in the early 1990s with the Islamic Army of Salvation (IAS/AIS), in 1992, the Armed Islamic Group (AIS/GIA), in 1998, the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSCP), and finally, Al Qaida in the Land of the Islamic Maghreb (AQLIM) in 2007.

After the 9/11 events, the West suddenly recognized the bitter Algerian experience on terrorism. The point is, that USA and its allies like Great Britain measured the extent of the danger of terrorism targeting their interests in the Sahel region. Algerian terrorism gradually became international, for instance, taking profit from the Touareg rebellion chaos in the North of Mali, the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) kidnapped 32 European tourists in 2003; 16 Germans, 10 Austrians, 4 Swiss, a Dutchman and a Swede. The 31 hostages were released against $6 million (one of them died; the victim did not survive the conditions of detention) (89). The GSPC terrorist group which became Al Qaida in the Land of Islamic Maghreb (AQLIM) in 2007, gathers members from all the Sahel region and not only from Algeria. On 21 September 2007, a suicide bombing targeted a convoy of foreign workers employed by a French company near Lakhdaria (Algiers). On 11th December 2007, a bomb car targeted a UN office in Hydra (Algiers). On 8 June 2008, once again a French company is beset by terrorists in Lakhdaria (Algiers). And on 20 August 2008, the Canadian company SNC Lavalin was targeted in Bouira (90) though the 12 victims of the attack were all Algerian employees. Moreover, the Arab spring (2011) and the Malian crisis (2012) accentuated the impact of AQLIM, which represents a menace for the local population and its government, but also a threat for the international partners present in the region, and this on both the economic and security levels. In addition to the mentioned attacks, the Tigantourine gas plant attack (British petroleum and Norwegian Statoil Hydro) on January 2013 reflects best this threat.

3. Algeria and the British connection
Relations between Algeria and Great Britain had begun under the reign of Elizabeth I (91), but in post independent Algeria, bilateral relations between Algeria and Britain have not really been of great importance. Yet by mid 2000s, Algeria and Great Britain engaged in a closer partnership; anti-terrorism and business issues are the core of this rapprochement between the two countries. The expansion of the British Embassy Algiers and the reopening of Defence and Commercial Sections, plus the appointment of additional Chancery and Management Staff between 2005-7 reflected best the commitment of the UK to work in Algeria like it is mentioned in the Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) 2006 report on the War against Terrorism (92). In this report, the Foreign Office pointed out the strategic importance of the Maghreb region to the UK in the war against terrorism. The FAC report highlighted the importance of the region in the context of Energy Strategy and the European Neighbourhood Policy, the necessity for the UK to involve in other fields was also mentioned. Concerning the Sahel complex situation and the bilateral security relations, the report recommended the government to work with its EU and international partners in order “to enhance co-operation between regional states and offer assistance with capacity building where appropriate”. It stressed the fact that Muslim regions are the best placed to fight the disguised ideology used by terrorists in the region to justify their actions, and it did not omit to mention the problem of criminal networks due to migration from the Maghreb to Europe. The report also stated that Algeria is not only committed to working with France, but also intends to work with other European countries like the UK “We conclude that Algeria is by no means a French preserve.” (93)
Nevertheless, the report owned up that the UK showed a lack of interest toward Algeria and that was a mistake considering the strategic position of Algeria in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) at both political and economic levels. In truth, that is what British Ambassador to Algeria Martyn Rober in office from 2010-14 applied, and what his successor Andrew Noble appointed in June 2014 continues to work towards. Even if the report recognized the ‘great progress’ made by the Algerian government to ending the threat of terrorism in the country, it also underlined the existing presence of terrorist groups in the region threating Algerians and foreigners as well. Later the report mentioned the commitment of the British government to working in Algeria and the other countries of the region to develop democracy, good governance and human rights. Since 2005, Great Britain has been working to increase bilateral trade and commerce in Algeria. Despite bureaucracy and security issues the Algerian market is very lucrative, according to the UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) department, the UK trade to Algeria was worth £529 million in 2013, in other words, the 4th largest market in Africa (94).

In addition to BP, the following UK campaigns are also operating in Algeria: Unilever, British Airways, HSBC, British American Tobacco, Glaxo Smith Kline, AstraZeneca, Biwater, United Insurance Brokers (95). However, BP remains the most famous because of its international renown to the British economy. How Great Britain is operating in Algeria using its firms and mainly BP in spite of the threat of terrorism and for what purpose will be examined in the next part.

II. The Algerian Market for Great Britain: Beyond Hydrocarbons
The UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) department in their overseas business section introduces the Algerian market as a lucrative one, which offers several opportunities for international partners and this despite a recognized bureaucracy (96). British interest in the Algerian market is not fortuitous; since 2006 Algeria’s strategic location in the Sahel region favours this view because of insecurity in the area. Why and how Great Britain is investing in a market located in a risky area? To understand these questions it is essential to understand how the hydrocarbon market functions in Algeria?

2.1. Algerian Hydrocarbons Market (background):
Oil production in Algeria dates back to the 1950s under the French colonialism, and independence Évian Accords (97) allowed cooperative exchange between France and Algeria for three renewable years. The agreements allowed hydrocarbon production, but also nuclear tests (98) in the Algerian Sahara (99). Hocine Matli, former Sontrach vice CEO (1973-1975), explained the French tactic to preserve its interests in Algeria, by the creation of the Common Organization of the Sahara Regions in 1957(100) which made the Algerian Sahara independent. Then, the Saharan Petroleum Code (101) of 1958 oriented oil activities in the Algerian Sahara (102). These measures permitted France to maintain its hegemony in Algeria and the National Front of Liberation (FLN) to reach a peace agreement to end the war. Furthermore, as France agreed to assist Algeria with qualified engineers and technicians, in addition to the required equipment to explore its natural resources, the budding Algerian government in some ways was ‘obliged’ to agree to those agreements. This explains how Algeria could earn hydrocarbon experience and how France could continue to generate profits in Algeria even after the independence, in other words fifty-fifty. Following divergences with the FLN party over the hydrocarbons question, it was then decided that the nationalization of hydrocarbons would be a long-term goal. A point Mohamed Harbi, (103) one of those who took part in the negotiations at Évian, confirmed “Nationalization of gas and oil was therefore envisaged as a long term option only”. (104)
Yet, the Trepal case of 1962 enhanced the creation of the Algerian owned hydrocarbon company Sonatrach which was launched officially on 31 December 1963 (105), and gradually the Algerian government began to foresee sovereignty over its natural resources (106). Trepal was an oil pipeline project in which the Algerian government aimed to control oil transport from Haoud El Hamra in Hassi Messaoud (province of Ouargla) to the port of Arzew (province of Oran). France in the name of the Évian agreement opposed the Algerian government in its will to claim 33% of the project while the Algerian government, also in the name of the same accords, expressed its disapproval “The accords allow you to transport your petrol. We do totally respect these items by committing to carry your production.” (107) —Ahmad Ben Balla
The relevant texts of the Évian agreement (108) over the hydrocarbons issue concerned the French firms operating on Algerian soil, likewise all the foreign companies, and permitted hydrocarbon exploration in Algerian soil but under the legislative and administrative agreement of the Algerian government (109). The Algerian government of Sid Ahmed Ghozali under the presidency of Ahmad Ben Bella decided to start the creation of what was called at that time the third pipeline. Afterwards, the construction of Arzew-Hassi Messaoud pipeline was awarded to the British company Constructors John Brown (CJB) thanks to the help of Kuwait, which accorded to Algeria a credit of $30 million to finance the pipeline project, and also the facilities allowed by the British banks. (Matli) Indirectly, the Trepal episode led to the signature of the Algiers agreement in 1965 that brought new texts to the Évian agreement of 1962. This is why the ‘Associative Cooperation’ (ASCOOP) between Algeria and France was created in 1965. ASCOOP aimed to organise joint venture between the two countries through their national firms Sonatrach for Algeria and Sopefal for France. (Aïssaoui and Matli) From 1966 to 1967, Sonatrach activities developed considerably, the pipeline unit named OZ1110, enhanced the production and the transportation capacities by almost 30%. In addition to Sonatrach’s tasks, which were restricted to the management of pipelines and marketing, have been enlarged to the research, production and processing of hydrocarbons (111).

In the aftermath of the Six Days War (1967) as a response to British and American neutrality toward the Israeli occupation in Egypt, Jordan and Syria, all British and US companies operating in Algeria were put under the executive control of the state to be nationalized later (1968-1969). Phillips Petroleum Co, Mobil (112), Esso, Sinclair Mediterranean, El Paso Natural Gas and Getty Oil (USA), and British Petroleum (distribution file) were the firms concerned by the early nationalization device (113). Meanwhile, Algeria became a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) (114). In fact, Algeria joined the OPEC in 1969 because on the one hand the organization represented a great opportunity to strengthen Algeria’s international position as a key oil producer, and on the other hand to decrease the French guardianship over hydrocarbons. “[…] OPEC could provide a framework to strengthen Algeria’s international position, instead of confining it to a ‘neo-colonial and paternalistic’ relation with France.” 115 The point is that the Algerian government disapproved of its inability to take any decision about its hydrocarbon field without the approval of the French, i.e., nationalization also meant economic independence. Consequently, on 24 February 1971, President Houari Boumediene announced the nationalization (116) of the Algerian hydrocarbons. That decision meant the control (51%) of French companies operating on the Algerian soil, in addition to gas fields, oil and mining infrastructures by the Algerian state.

2.2. Algeria’s hydrocarbons law of 2005:
The nationalization brought advantages (economic sovereignty, local investments, international credit, etc.) nevertheless it also had disadvantages. The Algerian government through Sonatrach’s domination applied a non-profit marketing strategy, which enabled foreign investors to take full advantage of the Algerian market (complex administrative procedure, financial burden, etc.). To correct this error, the Algerian government spent most of the 1990s, editing the hydrocarbons laws to attract foreign investments. This period symbolizes the rise of the American companies in southern Algeria, for example, in 1998, US oil firms reached $850 million of the accumulated exploration investment in the Algerian market, this number represents the half of the combined total spending on exploration conducted since 1990 (117). All changes led to 2005 Algeria’s hydrocarbons law which was amended in 2013. The Algerian government introduced the hydrocarbons law of 2005 as a turning point for the country’s development, and despite severe criticism inside and outside Algeria because of US intervention thanks to Chakib Khalil, the former minister of Energy, himself naturalized an American citizen, USA under the presidency of George Bush Jr. could have a hand in Algerian interior affairs during the establishment of this law (118). The key points of this law regarding the numerous multinationals are (119):
2.2.1 The law before the amendment of 2013:
Firstly, discoveries, the 2005 law kept 20 % to 30% in favour of the national firm Sonatrach of the legal option level in all possible discoveries made by foreign companies whether in oil or gas fields. Secondly, the licence of research and exploration, the 2005 law kept the 51% – 49% system (51% for Sonatrach and 49% for foreign firms) yet, the novelty was that foreign firms were considered as co-partners with the same advantages of Sonatrach, a feature the previous law/s did not allow as Sonatrach was no more the owner of the licence, the latter was in charge of the public organism Alnaft (120). Finally, importation and trade, a first in Algeria, the 2005 law authorized foreign firms to import and trade national hydrocarbons in Algeria the same ways as the national enterprise of oil distribution Naftal(121).
2.2.2 The law after the amendment of 2013:
First of all, taxes, the 2005 law fiscal aspect did not give advantages for the international partners, this may explain why foreign investments after the adoption of the law in April 2005 was not important as expected. For instance, during the country’s seventh licensing round in 2008, only 4/16 of the available blocks were awarded, 3/8 in 2009, and only 2/10 in 2011 (122). In attempt to accord more facilities to the international partners, the 2005 law was amended in 2013. For example, tax on oil revenues (123) is no more established on the turnover, but on the project’s profitability. In other words, it is the firm itself, which fixes the tax to pay depending on its annual incomes. Then, shale gas exploration, the amendment of 2013 made shale gas exploration possible, and two years later explorations tests to estimate the exact potential of Algerian shale gas have already been launched, the American multinational Halliburton is in charge of this mission. (124) Total and BP declared to be interested, but for the moment, both prefer to be neutral, especially after the anti- shale gas campaign occurring in Algeria, yet this option might be profitable for BP in the nearer future because of the position its gaining in Algeria.
2.3 Great Britain in Algeria via BP:
Since the 1960s, Algeria has provided Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to Britain from the liquefaction plant of Arzew through a joint venture between British Petroleum (BP) and Sonatrach Algeria is supplying gas to the Isle of Grain. Algeria is the 4th cruder oil producer in Africa, the 6th largest gas producer in the world, and the 4th EU gas energy supplier. In addition Algeria could be supplying up to 10% of the UK’s gas demand in the next few years. As well Algeria has one of the highest foreign currency reserves in the world (over $200 billion in 2014), and a stable situation in the Sahel comforts the British interest in the Algerian market. Algeria is now the UK’s 58th largest export market worldwide, compared with 66th in 2008. (UKTI: 2013) In 2013, the UK was the fourth European partner of Algeria, exports reached $7 194 billion, while global imports were estimated to $1 175 billion, which represented a positive balance amount of $ 6 018 billion. These data made the UK the country with the biggest positive balance in Algeria. The UK exports gasoil to Algeria ($ 293 million that is an average of 24.78%), machines ($ 134 million that is an average of 11.34%), medical products ($96 million that is an average 8.18%) and reactive compounds ($41 million that is an average of 3.5%) as well thread machinery (125).

Furthermore, following the Tiguentourine attack in January 2013 against BP and Statoil Hydro, Algeria confirmed its position as a ‘regional power’ in the Sahel with a qualified army able to protect foreign and local interests. More than 600 workers from various nationalities were freed, gas fields were saved avoiding an industrial catastrophe and three of the attackers were captured and 29 terrorists were killed during the raid.
Great Britain applies the same defence policy of all great western countries namely the US, Canada, France, but also other countries such as Australia, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, etc. For example, in Iraq and Libya, the two last major conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, under the Labour PM Tony Blair Great Britain supported the US under G.W Bush to stop weapons of mass destruction that Saddam Hussein was accused of by the international community (126). Likewise, in 2011, following the Arab Spring uprising Great Britain, headed by the conservative PM David Cameron along with the French (under the presidency of Nicolas Sarkozy) and the USA joined in (127) to stop Muammar Gaddafi’s repression. With the current complex situation in the Sahel Algeria via its geographical position and army might offer an interesting option for Great Britain and its allies to intervene in the Sahel region (128). Algeria throughout its strategic location might facilitate a possible military operation, and to conduct a military operation (air, ground or sea) a base is indispensable. Because in the light of the recent dialogues and meetings among the government of Mali, the Azawad (129) leaders and the regional mediators (Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Morocco) a peaceful solution is on the right path to end of the Malian crisis (130), the current chaos in Libya is going straight ahead to a war between the militia of Fajr Libya and the local government recognized by the UN. If for the moment the United Nations (UN) and the international mediators refused to talk publicly about a military solution and prefer instead to put forward the dialogue option to end the crisis peacefully, the presence of ISIS in Libya is complicating the situation. In addition to terrorism, Libya is an OPEP member.

These two key points might foster another military operation in this country soon (131). Nevertheless, the remaining difficulty for Great Britain and its allies is Algerian political culture; to never interfere in others’ domestic military affairs as the national army is called only when there is a concrete threat against Algeria’s sovereignty (132). A recent example illustrates best this tendency, on the behalf of the Algerian diplomacy principles; to always opt for dialogue and mediation instead of the use of arms to resolve international conflicts, Algiers refused the Saudi coalition call in Yemen to stop the Zaidi Shia (Houthis) rebels (133).
The other hypothesis is a US military base in Algeria with the help of Great Britain, although Obama administration affirms at the present it is not using the military option in Libya (134). It is very complicated for Washington to establish a military base in a country where Western policy is not welcomed especially from a country like the USA (135). As seen above, the 2005 hydrocarbon law was highly criticized because of US intervention in having a hand to the final text of the law. Besides, despite some rumours claiming the presence of an American military base on Algerian soil located in the far south-east of the country nearby the Libyans frontier between the province of Illizi and Tamanrasset, it must be pointed out that since the Independence (1962) there has never been any concrete US military base in Algeria. For instance, Algeria refused to join the United States Africa Command (Africom) (136) in order to avoid any US base settlement in the Algerian soil. Another example was given, during the siege of Tiguentourine Algeria authorized the US predator drones to fly over the gas site but insisted on them returning to their base in Niger once the assault was completed (137). From all the above, for the moment there is no real US military base in Algeria, and everything rumoured about this military base remains unproven. Even if Great Britain is applying the same security methods as the USA, the Algerian government and people consider relations with Great Britain at the defence level cannot be as dangerous as with the US because of the threat of the military base and the bad reputation of the US foreign policy. At least talks and meetings on this aspect between Great Britain and Algeria go better because the motivation for a military base is less present.

Bilateral relations between Great Britain and Algeria have improved in the last few years, Algeria is now considered an important economic partner to Great Britain (138). In order to give greater presence and boost investment and trade between Algeria and Great Britain, Lord Richard Risby, former Director of Minexco Petroleum Inc (139), was named British Trade Envoy to Algeria in 2010, and the British-Algerian Business Council (ABBC) lead by Lady Olga Maitland, who also runs the Defence Security Forum, was launched, a premier. Yet for the moment, this partnership is mainly related to hydrocarbons market, the market that made Algeria ranked the principal Maghreb trade partner of Britain. This is a business partnership in which British Petroleum contributes a lot. BP is the most important British Company operating in Algeria (140), and it even belongs to the main foreign companies working in the Algerian hydrocarbon market.
2.3.1 BP at a glance:
British Petroleum (BP) is one of the world’s leading oil companies. BP is present in 80 countries, employs about 84000 persons (including above 10 000 people on UK soil), and has a global economic value of over $400 billion (BP: 2014). The multinational belongs to the top four oil companies in the world with Exxon Mobil American, the Shell Dutch and French Total (Auzanneau:2015). According to the BBC, BP paid about £5.8 billion to the UK government in taxes in 2009 (141). As well, BP has a considerable influence on politics, the Louisiana episode (Gulf of Mexico oil spill) of 2010 (142) illustrates BP’s political weight in the UK and in the world, and BP’s importance to the UK economy.

2.3.2 BP in Algeria:
BP is the most important British Company in Algeria, additionally to BP, Eni (Italy), GazProm (Russia) Total (France), Statoil Hydro (Norway), and Anadarko (United States) are the other most important foreign companies in the Algerian hydrocarbon market. BP has been present in Algeria since the 1960’s via their distribution operation, but officially BP signed their first joint venture in Algeria in 1995 and started their activities in 1997, BP’s merger with Amoco in 1998 and the acquisition of Acro in 2000 made BP, the biggest foreign investor in Algeria. BP, also holds very significant gas concessions in southern Algeria, but does not exploit them because of the gas surpluses on the world market (143). The multinational is operating in gasfields in two major sectors which are In Salah and In Amenas, through shared projects with the national Sonatrach and the Norwegian Statoil. BP owns 33,15% in each of the project. In Amenas is one of the largest wet gas (144) projects in Algeria, with the extraction of natural gas and gas liquids from fields in the Illizi basin. While In Salah is one of the largest dry gas (145) joint venture projects in the country. The venture involves extracting gas from seven fields in the southern Sahara. BP also extracts oil from the Rhourde El Baguel field in the province of Ouargla.
2.3.3. BP the Reasons Beyond Trade:
A report published by the non-profit organisation (NPO) Platform London (147) published in February 2013, Reinforcing dictatorships, Britain’s gas grab and human rights abuses in Algeria, denounces BP policy over human rights abuses in Algeria. The report warned that BP is intensifying its close relationship with the Algerian regime amidst major corruption scandals and that Great Britain has lobbied for better deals for British companies. (Platform London: 2013) “The Conservative government has courted close relations with the Algerian regime, including arms sales and support for an expanded role for BP.” (148)
This interest is confirmed by the UKTI Defence and Security Organisation (UKTI DSO) that assist UK defence and security companies to export their products, (149) this organism made Algeria a priority market. (150) The Tiguentourine attacks did not prevent BP and Great Britain from maintaining their position in Algeria, why is Great Britain making Algeria a priority market for arms sales? How does BP contribute to reinforcing this market? And why is Great Britain working with an authoritarian regime in Algeria? Usually, Algeria imports arms from Russia, however, the Algerian government is open to any markets. Since 2010, Algeria has been importing arms from Germany, Italy, Spain, China and even Sweden. This data explains British interest in the Algerian market.
Relations between Algeria and Great Britain are going well, Great Britain is one of the most important arms dealers in the world (151) and regarding the current situation in the Sahel, Great Britain is likely to become an important arm exporter to Algeria in the near future (152). Since the Arab spring Algeria has been facing unrest disorder in the Sahel region and to encounter any threats the national army needs adequate tools. The Tigantourine attack in January 2013 was a strong indication of the emergency having a large and a contemporary arsenal to secure the area (153). The terrorist groups present in the region such as AQLIM, Ansar Dine, Boko Haram, Okba Ibn Nafiaa, and now ISIS, plus drug and arms traffic (154), are factors which reflect the real danger Algeria is facing.
The previous facts explain why the Algerian defence budget is so important. Moreover, according to Stockholm International Research Institute for Peace (SIRIP), in 2013, the Algerian defence budget was equivalent to the defence budgets of Egypt (the other regional power in MENA), Tunisia and Morocco together, and since 2012, the Algerian defence budget has always been higher than $10 billion per year (155). The same institute ranked Algeria as major arms importing country in Africa in 2014 (156). In the same process and despite the fall in crude oil prices fall on which the Algerian economy is based, the 2015 finance law entitled n°14-10 and voted on 30 December 2014, scheduled $13 billion for the defence sector.
The arms market in Algeria is very profitable and British officials know that the competition is tough, that is why Great Britain is making great efforts to sign important contracts in Algeria. BP belongs to this marketing strategy. Through, the role of BP in Algeria Great Britain is reinforcing its position. In truth, BP was one of the first multinationals to help Sonatrach develop its massive hydrocarbon reserves to be ranked the third gas supplier to Europe in 2013. In other words, if Sonatrach is the richest African company and the 12th in the world with a turnover estimated to $63 billion in 2013 (157), it is thanks to foreign companies’ contribution and especially BP. This is a major point the Algerian government is aware of. For example, during the Tiguentourine assault (the four day crisis) $40 million in revenue were lost (158). Therefore, the Algerian government is obliged to do the best to keep BP in Algeria, because despite the amendment of the 2005 hydrocarbons law in 2013, the Algerian government is still having difficulty to attract the foreign investors, especially from the Western countries (159). Likewise the security situation is not an asset; not all foreign firms are ready to invest billions of dollars in a risky area. This position reinforces BP and Great Britain in the conquest of the Algerian market for arms sales.
If the weapons business is justified, after all weapons are made to be sold, the remaining question is why a democracy like Great Britain insists on selling its weapons to a country ruled by an authoritarian regime. Algeria is ruled by the army under the control of the FLN, the same party that led the country to independence in 1962, and led it to a civil war thirty years later in order to remain in power. Plus, despite criticism it is known that the UK is a country that is very strict toward arms transfers (160). Financial interests and counter-terrorism in the Sahel are the two plausible reasons to explain this interest, and as Great Britain judges that Algeria is on the right path to democracy (161) this justifies the British interest in Algeria regardless of the grey area. Yet for the moment Great Britain is an outsider in this market, the British arms sale to Algeria is estimated at only 2% of Algerian arms imports, Russia still has supremacy in this market with 93%. Also, Algeria is the third arms client to Russia after India and China, and Algeria is very close to this partner. (SIRIP: 2014)
According to Global Fire Power (GFP) (162) the Algerian army is the second most important army in Africa (163) with six main military regions, which are (1) Blida, (2) Oran,(3) Bechar, (4) Ouargla, (5) Constantine and (6) Tamanrasset, it is composed of 512 000 professional soldiers and 400 000 reservists (164). The GFP claims that the Algerian army via its three sister branches (land, air and naval forces) has 975 tanks, 448 aircraft and 60 ships (165), these elements maintain the Algerian army’s leading position in North Africa and in all the Sahel zone (166). At the international level and despite the Algerian military doctrine – never to interfere in others’ domestic military affairs even when called on (167), the latter remains very active, especially in the field of anti-terrorism for instance, Algeria is one of the founding members of the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum (CGTF) (168) launched in New York in September 2011. It also provides assistance to the neighbouring countries such as Mali (169).
“We want to sell arms to Algeria.”(170) In 2010, when Algeria signed a contract of $5 billion to acquire military helicopters from Great Britain, it was pointed out that the UK would be ready to respond to any request from Algeria. Alistair Burt, British Minister to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) with the Foreign Office (FO) underlined that British companies operating in the field of defence expressed interest in the Algerian armed forces modernisation programme (171). Also, after the attack at the In Amenas plant (Tingantourine) in 2013 the possibility to train the Algerian soldiers to master counter-terrorism techniques by the UK Special Forces (UKSF) was raised as part of the security partnership agreed between Prime Minister David Cameron and Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika (172). The arms industry is an important business for the UK economy, between 2004 and 2011 the UK sold $27,037 billion worth of arms which is approximately 5% of the total world arms sales, and the UK was ranked 4th in the world in arms sales (173). (Congressional Research Service: 2012)
However, regarding the recent developments, it is difficult for Great Britain to acquire a major part of the Algerian market of arms and this despite the importance of BP. As already mentioned Algerian arms imports from the UK represent only an average of 2%, BP’s position might be beneficial in helping sign some contracts, but taking into account the British ambitions these contracts are not enough. Furthermore, the competition from the Germans is also another factor which might hinder the British, as well Algeria and Germany have been very active in the task of the arms transfers these last years. The German arms factory agreement signed in 2014 is the result of discussions between Algiers and Berlin. Yet, in truth, the German arms factory agreement reflects the Algerian weapons’ project; the local government understood the importance of arms production during the black decade (civil war) when Algeria was put under the arms embargo by the international community. Although many guns, tools and their spare parts have been produced in Algeria since the 1990 (174), Algeria does not have a significant experience in the field of weapons production. This lack of experience explains why Algeria spent years negotiating a contract with a recognized arms producer like Germany to enable the manufacturing of heavy military equipment in Algeria.
In 2014, the German company Rheinmetall agreed to sign this partnership and even though, the agreement was signed under several terms such as the commitment from the Algerian authorities to not sell the produced weapons to other countries, it remains a good achievement for the Algerian regime (175). Forecasts foresee the construction of two frigates ranked MEKO 200 (176) in Algeria under the German licence, plus other types of heavy equipment like tanks. This agreement is not fortuitous because it belongs to the Algerian armed forces modernization program that involves equipment upgrading and staff training in the use of new technologies. The cited elements explain why it is difficult for Great Britain to acquire the Algerian arms market, at least in the near future. Also, Great Britain’s involvement in arms sales as a way of being present in the region may appear to be an indirect way of controlling the area or interfering in Algerian domestic issues, that is something the Algerian government is surely aware of and even might consider as a threat; Gaddafi ’s fall was the result of the Arab uprising but also due to the military intervention of the West.
2.4 UK Arms Transfers Policy:

The United Kingdom applies strict arms exports controls, organisms like Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) recognize this point. Respect of human rights and maintaining international stability are the main goals of arms transfers policy. In 2000, the British government under the Labour Party introduced the Consolidated EU National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, which consolidated the British arms transfer policy with the other European countries. The eight criteria revised in 2014 under the Conservatives are:
1) Respect for the UK’s international obligations and commitments, in particular sanctions adopted by the UN Security Council or the European Union, agreements on non- proliferation and other subjects, as well as other international obligations.
2) The respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in the country of final destination as well as respect by that country for international humanitarian law.
3) The internal situation in the country of final destination, as a function of the existence of tensions or armed conflicts.
4) The national security of the UK and territories whose external relations are the UK’s responsibility, as well as that of friendly and allied countries.
5) The behaviour of the buyer country with regard to the international community, as regards in particular to its attitude to terrorism, the nature of its alliances and respect for international law.
6) The existence of a risk that the items will be diverted within the buyer country or re- exported under undesirable conditions.
7) The compatibility of the transfer with the technical and economic capacity of the recipient country, taking into account the desirability that states should achieve their legitimate needs of security and defence with the least diversion for armaments of human and economic resources
8) Article 10 of the EU Common Position specifies that Member States may, where appropriate, also take into account the effect of proposed exports on their economic, social, commercial and industrial interests, but that these factors will not affect the application of the criteria in the Common Position (177).
In short, the consolidated criteria apply to both the UK’s own policy and that of the other European countries (178).
The consolidated criteria include a list known as the consolidated list that gives all the UK military goods to sell (179). Also, the United Kingdom and Australia signed in 2007 with USA the Defense Trade Cooperation Treaty, which was planned to enhance the proficiency of qualified two-route exchanges between the UK and Australia by encouraging the fare of controlled merchandise inside the approved community, without the requirement of a licence. The Treaty came into power on 16 May 2013.
The previous elements showed how much the UK is strict towards arms transfers. However, this policy is controversial regarding the case of Algeria, a country that the UK made a priority market for arms sales. Regarding the consolidated criteria list, especially criterion number two “the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in the country of final destination as well as respect by that country for international humanitarian law.” Selling arms to Algeria is also not compatible with the consolidated criteria, because of human rights abuses “The Algerian regime is a serious human rights offender, characterized by ongoing authoritarian practices and endemic corruption at a huge scale.” 180
In addition, following the election of Abdelaziz Bouteflika for a 4th consecutive presidential term in April 2014 (181), all the anti-4th term marches and protests, even peaceful, were all reprimanded. Freedom of speech is very restricted as many journalists were victim of harassments and bad treatment by the local authorities because they dared to denounce the bitter reality of the ruling regime. In early 2015, the anti-shale gas marches and sit-ins were all reprimanded and the inhabitants of In Salah were threatened by the Ministry of Defence (army) to go back home and to stop the anti-shale gas movement in the name of the national stability. These methods are against the principles of the Algerian constitution, mainly articles 36, 41 and 47, which guarantee the freedom of speech and the right to organize peaceful assemblies. Moreover, in April 2015, the EU parliament published a document in which Algeria is severely blamed for human rights abuse “MEPs ask the Algerian authorities to ensure and guarantee the right to freedom of expression and association and peaceful assembly in the country […] the Algerian authorities and the EU foreign policy chief to include a strong human rights chapter in the future EU-Algeria Action Plan.” (182) Likewise, on 3rd May (World Press Freedom Day) Amnesty International (183) via its branch in Algeria reported the serious abuses committed in Algeria against journalists and government’s opponents (184).
The UK for the moment sold mainly helicopters to Algeria (185) and the UK is not the only European country to sell arms to Algeria; France, Italy, Spain and Sweden also sold arms to Algeria these last years. Nevertheless, in the light of the current events occurring in Algeria, the UK interest in Algeria as a priority market for arms sales from an economic point of view is justified; Algeria needs a modern arsenal to fight insurgents and keep its population under control. From the point of view of human rights and democracy, British arms sales to Algeria might appear to be morally reprehensible. Securing the Sahel region might be vital, yet the Algerian regime inside its borders has another agenda that is not compatible with what the Algerian diplomacy reflects; repression against opponents is an example.
Algeria is one of those very complex countries to understand, if the security situation is at this time stable in Algeria yet the latter is very fragile and it can quickly deteriorate, the Algerian past proves this fact. Such an event would only complicate the situation and especially at the economic and regional levels. Another point, the threat of the Islamic State (IS/ Daech) already active in Algeria since Summer 2014, even through minor groups like Jund El Kalifa who killed a French hostage in September 2014 (186). The presence of IS/Daech on Algerian soil will only increase the need for Algeria to possess adequate weapons in response and thus their dependency on arms imported or manufactured with Western technology. This is a point which increases the opportunities for Western countries, including the UK, to sell arms to Algeria, and increase their diplomatic and military presence in the area.

Diplomacy is the skill to manage international relations and negotiations by nations’ officials to serve common interests, yet diplomacy is also the art of lying sincerely. “It is a principle of diplomacy that one must know something of the truth in order to lie convincingly” states Tom Clancy (187). Throughout this study it was shown that diplomacy and trade are not always compatible because of financial interests.

The first part of this study facilitated the comprehension of the field’s settings in which Great Britain insisted on investing in, and this despite the threat of terrorism in Algeria. As it was demonstrated, foreigners have already been subject to murderous attacks by terrorists in Algeria before the terrorist attack in the gas plant in Tiguentourine in January 2013, against British Petroleum and the Norwegian Statoil Hydro. Moreover, in the aftermath of the attack unlike the Norwegian government that preferred to remain silent till the publication of the investigation report, Great Britain expressed its strong support to the Algerian government and its desire to maintain and continue its activities in Algeria, and it even suggested providing Algeria with military assistance to counter terrorism in the Sahel region.

The second part of this work looked at the mechanism of hydrocarbons market policy in Algeria, and how the Algerian government allows multinationals like BP to work in Algeria. It was also seen how bilateral relations between Algiers and London has developed since 2006, and how the UK thanks to the work undertaken in Algeria for almost a decade was able to help their business affairs flourish in a complex and risky country. Furthermore, this second part showed how Great Britain is benefiting from BP’s importance in Algerian economy to promote arms sales exports.
Even if at the present time, Great Britain’s goal has not yet been reached due to strong competition from Russia, but also from Germany, it is important to stress that the work engaged to fulfil this task is still ongoing, and currently it is too early to make any conclusion. However, taking into account the well-known very strict policy of UK arms transfers, a question arises; is selling arms to Algeria compatible with the international community codes and in particular, the respect of human rights? This is something Algeria nowadays is not honouring despite its subscribing to the resolutions of the United Nations (UN), the articles of the Algerian constitution and all the reasons that were explained during this work. These elements highlight another issue that is Great Britain’s strict arms sales transfer policy, and whether this is a myth or reality?

1) The dream of Scipio, Vintage Books, 2002. Iain Pears (b. 1955) is an English art historian, novelist and journalist.
2) Pan-Arabism is the idea to unify all the Arab countries from North Africa to West Asia to constitute a single nation.
3) Pan-Africanism is the idea to unify African peoples in order to promote economic, social, and political progress.
4) For more details about Algerian colonial history and the Algerian war check out the academic works (in French) by Benjamin Stora, Fanny Colona, Gilbert Meynier and Mohamed Harbi.
5) In Chapter 22, she wrote that Algeria is one of those very complicated countries, which oblige USA to balance between its interests and values.
6) French hydrocarbons firms have been very favoured in Algeria till 1971 and even today French societies are acclaimed sometimes at the expense of others, such as the contract earned in 2014 by Renault to manufacture cars in Algeria. A contract won by the French Renault over the Germans of Volkswagen who offered better options in their contract, like the possibility to manufacture cars in Algeria according to the European norms something the French Renault did not offer in the contract they singed.
7) Due to 1968 agreement between France and Algeria, Algerian citizens have many advantages in France compared with other people’s nationalities, for example Algerian illegal migrants can be automatically regularized after 10 years of presence in the French soil.
8) The Foreign Affairs Committee, (2006). The War against Terrorism. Session 2005-2006. London: the Foreign Affairs Committee, pp.16-22.
9) Commonwealth of Nations is one of the world’s oldest political association of states. Its roots go back to the British Empire when some countries were ruled directly or indirectly by Britain. Some of these countries became self-governing while retaining Britain’s monarch as Head of State. They formed the British Commonwealth of Nations. Retrieved from: [Acceded 29 May 2015] 10) Algeria used to be a French department from 1848 to 1962.
11) According to the National Office of Statistics, the Algerian population reached 39.5 million at 1st January 2015.
12) Also known by Berbers
13) The question of the national identity (Arabs or Berbers) is a matter of divergence in Algeria, especially amid the Kabyle population located in the north centre of the country. Amazigh of Kabyle are still fighting the Algerian government rejecting the imposed process of arabisation to keep their original identity (culture and language) and in order to be recognized as Amazigh citizens and not Arabs.
14) The standard classical Arabic and not the Algerian spoken Arabic that is Darjaa or Elamiaa, which is a dialect with informal Arabic, numerous derived French words plus Berber and even Turkish words.
15) Cf. Algerian Const.,Art. n°.2 and 3.
16 ) This decline can be explained by the result of the arabisation process imposed for all Algerians since the presidency of Houari Boumediene (1965-1978) to cut the link with everything French, but mainly owing to the lack of adequate training. Plus the rejection of what is still perceived, nowadays, by certain groups of people as the language of the settlers and not a foreign language.
17) Cf. Algerian Const., Art n°1.
18) These riots which led to the fall of the state party should have been the trigger to democracy transition in Algeria, and not a short cut to violence propped by an authoritarian regime leading the country straight ahead to a bloody national tragedy.
19) 3rd President of Algeria (1979-1992)
20) Sometimes referred as the ‘state party’; since the independence the country had been governed by the FLN party (Front de Liberation Nationale Jabhaat El Tahrir El Watani National Liberation Front).
21) For instance, Presidents Houari Boumediene and Chadli Bendjedid were both former colonels while Liamine Zerwel was a general. Also, in Algeria, the fact that FLN leaders (those chosen to head the presidential campaign) tie very close relations with generals is an open secret.
22) Cf. Algerian Const., Art n°26.
23) The adoption of the French law in 2005, recognizing the ‘positive role’ of colonialism damaged this treaty (Loi n° 2005-158 du 23 février 2005 portant reconnaissance de la Nation et contribution nationale en faveur des Français rapatriés).
24) Cf. 176 (1962)[S/5174]UN resolution (04.10.1962)
25) Cf. Algerian Const., Art n°27.
26) This position engenders tensions between Algeria and Morocco.
27) This can explain the numerous signed contracts by Cuba and specially China in Algeria since 2005 (what some local journalists and specialists consider as a reward from the Algerian regime to the Chinese diplomatic fairness about the tragic circumstances Algeria experienced during the black decade).
28) Algeria is one of the 11 countries who have signed the Trans Sahara Counter Terrorism Partnership (TSCTP) US interagency plan in 2005, this partnership aimed at countering terrorism in the Sahel. See also, CNA Corporation, (2013). The Trans Sahara Counter Terrorism Partnership, Building Partner Capacity to Counter Terrorism and Violent Extremism.
29) Cf. French Embassy Algiers statistics [Accessed 06 Feb. 2015].
30) President A.Bouteflika used to be a consultant for the Emirate Center for strategic studies Abu Dhabi, where he spent a part of his exile between 1981-9.
31) Summarized from “Présentation de l’Algérie.” France Diplomatie. 3 Apr. 2014. [Acceded 06 Feb.2015].
32) Under the presidency of Houari Boumediene an attempt to industrialize the country was launched but it did not work out as it was expected.
33) This group is owned by the businessman Essad Rabrab, also known in Europe for his numerous investments; he bought the French Fagor group (Spain) subsidiary Brandt in April 2014.
34) National enterprise of industrial vehicles. Check out official web site .
35 ) Natixis is a French corporate and investment bank created in November 2006 after the fusion of Banque Populaire group and IXIS Groupe Caisse d’Epargne (BPCE).
36) “The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organization of 188 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world.” Retrieved from IMF official web site [Acceded 07 Feb.2015].
37) Moukhafi, Mansouria. (2013) ‘Algeria- An Unsteady Partner To Europe.London: European Council on Foreign Relations’, p.5.
38) U.S Energy Information Administration,. ‘Country Analysis Brief: Algeria’. U.S Department of Energy, 2014, p.1
39) The extraction of this resource is very harmful for both nature and humans. The Algerian population especially in Ain Salah (South East of Algeria) totally denounced this measure, despite the affirmation to not explore any gas shale before 2020 made by PM A. Sellal.
40) “Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, is an independent policy institute based in London” retrieved from [Acceded 7 Feb.2015].
41) Cited by Achy, Lahcen. “The Price of Stability in Algeria.”The Carnegie Papers (2013). [Acceded 8 Feb.2015].
42) Cited by Achy, Lahcen, ibidem.
43) “Ali Aissaoui is a senior policy consultant at the Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP) where he last held the position of Head of Economics & Research”.Retrieved from . [Acceded 08 Feb.2015].
44) Aissaoui, Ali. Algeria: The Political Economy of Oil and Gas. Oxford University Press, 2001, p.94.
45) Kellner, Douglas. “9/11, spectacles of terror, and media manipulation: A critique of Jihadist and Bush media politics.”Critical Discourse Studies, 1.1 (2004), pp. 41-64.
46) Modern terrorism dates back to the aftermath of the French revolution. Terrorism comes from the French word terreur = terror. See also, Thermeau, Gerard-Michel. “Quand Le Terrorisme était Une Valeur Républicaine.” 19 Jan. 2015. [Acceded 08 Feb.2015].
47) Hennebel, Ludovic, and Gregory Lewkowicz. Le Problème De La Défini on Du Terrorisme. Brussels: Bruylant, 2009, pp.17-59.
48) What could be seen as State terrorism.
49) Chomsky, Noam. “International terrorism: Image and reality”, in A George (ed.), Western state terrorism,
Routledge, New York, 1991, p 2.
50) Kirat, Mohamed Messaoud. El Irhab (Terrorism). Riyadh: Naif Arab University, 2011, p.23. (Originally in Arabic)
51) U.S. Army Field Manual No.FM 3-0, Chapter 9, 37, 14 June 2001.
52) Political parties will be mentioned by their French abbreviation.
53) Addi, Lhouari. ‘Les Partis Politiques En Algérie’, Revue de l’Occident Musulman et de la Méditerranée, (2005), pp. 139-162.
54) Hizb El Chaab El Jazairi in arabic and Le Parti du Peuple Algérien in French was founded by the nationalist Massali El Hadj in 1937 in France.
55) Some sources amid the Algerian media claim that he was even elected as an FLN member from 1969 to 1974.
56) The major sources of this micro biography were summarized from the 2005 interview Abassi Madani gave to Sami Kalib, journalist of Aljazeera channel (Arabic) for the TV programme Ziyara Khassa (a private visit).
57) Madrassa in literary Arabic means the school, but in this context it means the school of Koranic lectures also known by Elouha (tablet) usually placed inside mosques and elzawaya (Islamic traditional corners).
58 ) He might be from Tunisian, Moroccan, or even Mauritanian origins. The French administration gave arbitrary surnames to Algerians depending on their location (town, village …) or their family ancestry. But for those who were born outside Algeria like Ali Belhadj, they held the appellation SNP as a surname that is the abbreviation of sans nom patronymique (without a patronymic name). It was a distinctive sign which allowed the identification of people who were not born in Algeria. After the independence, the code of the Algerian nationality (1963) prevented persons having SNP as a name to be recognized legally as Algerians, and so, depriving them to have any administrative documents such as the certificate of the Algerian nationality, the national ID, the passport, etc. Later, Ali SNP became Ali Belhadj thanks to the intervention of a People’s Municipal Assembly worker whom Ali Belhadj was very close. Check out more details on
59) One of his sons, Abdelkader Belhadj (b.1988) was killed in 2011 by the Algerian security forces while planning a suicide bombing at a military check point in Algiers.
60) What is known by El Shawa that means ‘the awakening’.
61) In Algeria, even today everything linked to religion is a blessing and cannot be negative.
62) The 1st Algerian constitution dates back to 1963 (it was suspended in 1965 after the state coup), the 2nd to 1976, the 3rd to 1989, the 4th to 1992, the 5th to 1996. Also, the consultations to approve the final text of the 6th constitution are still ongoing.
63) The FIS won this election with 54.3 %
64) Lyachi, Azzddine. Political Liberalisation And Party Radicalisation In Algeria: The Case Of The Islamic Front Of Salvation. Johannesburg: South African Institute of International Affairs, 2009, p.5.
65) The FIS also won the municipal election of 1990.
66) A resignation pushed by the army.
67) Mohamed Boudiaf (4th president of Algeria) was mostly known by his nickname Tayab El watani (the beloved patriot) returned from exile in January 1992 to get a remedy to the damaging situation the country was going through. In fact, the army called on him because it knew that Mohamed Boudiaf was very respected by the Algerian people. During his short term (six months) he engaged numerous measures (one of them scheduled to limit the role of the army) and revived the people’s hope for a better Algeria. He was killed in June 1992 while he was pronouncing a speech in Annaba (north east of the country) on 29 June 1992. This crime still remains very suspicious despite the official version claiming that the murderer was a religious fundamentalist.
68) Algerian expression that means party of France
69) McDougall, James. “Savage Wars? Codes Of Violence In Algeria, 1830S – 1990S”. Third World Quarterly 26.1 (2005): 117-131. (p.127)
70 ) Despite criticism about the tools used by the FIS to win elections such as intimidation and fake promises, never mind, the FIS had won those elections.
71) He was beheaded like all hostages killed by ISIS in a response to Western policy in the region. I.e. the Malian crisis.
72) North East of Algeria.
73) Which can be translated by the Soldiers of El Kalifa and El Kalifa here refers to ISIS.
74) In Amenas, province of Ilizi nearby the Libyan borders in the South East of Algeria.
75) 37 foreigner workers, 29 militants and an Algerian guard were killed in the attack.
76 ) In Algeria to enter a gas/oil plant area even for Algerian citizens, a laissez-passer document is required.
77) In Arabic El Jabha El Islamia El Mousalah.
78) In fact,it was a strategy to warn the West and especially the French government. Terrorists estimated that Paris was supporting the Algerian government and thus the Algerian army only to secure their economic interests in the country. See also, Bouamama, Said. Algérie : les racines de l’intégrisme. Bruxelles, EPO, 2000.
79) North Ouest of Algeria.
80) In the city of Medea, North Ouest of Algeria.
81) The exact numbers of victims has always been a matter of controversy in Algeria. However, PM Abdellamlek Sellal during his visit in Paris in early December 2014 confirmed this number during a conference he gave with French PM. Manuel Valls: “[…] le pays connaissait une vague de terrorisme face à laquelle nous étions seuls. Nous l’avons chèrement payé, avec 200.000 morts et des dizaines de milliards de dollars de pertes.’’ Check out the full conference transcript on [Acceded 12 Feb.2015].
82) 6th President of Algeria (1994-1999)
83) 2nd President of Algeria (1965 -1978)
84) A.Bouteflika openly declared his desire to diversify the economical partners; trading in Algeria is not a French exclusivity.
85) Known as El Wiaam El Madani in Arabic and Concorde Civile in French is a referendum that was held on 16 September 1999, the Concord was made to end violence allowing the terrorists who were not involved in criminal acts to repent. More details on
[Acceded 12 Feb.2015].
86) El Mousalaha El Wataniya in Arabic and la Charte pour la Paix & la Réconciliation Nationale
in French is a charter text add-on to the Civil Concord of 1999.
87) Some rumours among the Algerian media claimed that it was Liamine Zeroual who first suggested this deal.
88) McDougall, James. Op.cit,.p.128
89)Ransom payments and or prisoner exchanges are a very common practice by these sorts of criminal groups to finance their actions.
90)North Centre of Algeria
91) John Tipton was the first English to be appointed consul of Algiers in 1580.
92) The Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC), Op.cit., pp.16-22.
93) Ibidem.,p.20
94) Check out more details on .[Acceded 13 Feb.2015].
95) Cf. UK Trade and Investment department.
96) For more details see also doing business in Algeria section on the UKTI department official web site [Acceded 26 March 2015] 97) The Évian accords (les accords d’Évian) were signed on 18 March 1962, in Évian-les-Bains, by France and Algeria. These accords ended the Algerian War by a formal cease-fire proclaimed the day after (19th March).
98) France made its first Algerian nuclear test in February 1960 in Reggane (province of Adrar) and continued its tests until 1966 in In Eker (province of Tamanrasset) the devastating effects of these tests on nature and humans are still noticeable.
99) Cf. Évian accords. Section B. n°1 « Pour une période de trois ans renouvelable, l’aide de la France sera fixée dans des conditions comparables et à un niveau équivalent à ceux des programmes en cours.»
100) Organisation Commune des Régions sahariennes in French appellation.
101) Code Pétrolier Saharien in French appellation.
102) Matli, Houcine. Histoire Secrète Du Pétrole Algérien. Paris: La Découverte, 2010, pp.23-29.
103) Mohamed Harbi used to be a FLN member; he was the adviser of President Ahmed Ben Bella and was jailed by H. Boumedine (1965-1968) after the State coup of 1965. He fled to France in 1973 and then became a university teacher of sociology.
104) Cited by Aissaoui, Ali. Algeria, the Political Economy Of Oil And Gas. Oxford University Press, 2001, p.74.
105) In Arabic El Mouassassa El Wataniya liltatkib, sinaa, nakl, tahwil wa taswik el mahroukat In French, Société Nationale pour la Recherche, la Production, le Transport, la Transformation, et la Commercialisation des Hydrocarbures s.p.a,[Acceded 27 March 2015] 106) The FLN party congress in April 1964 reaffirmed the ‘long term’ option over hydrocarbons nationalization.
107) The original quotation in French : « Les accords vous donnent droit à faire transporter votre pétrole. Nous respectons entièrement ces dispositions en nous engageant à transporter votre production.» Cited by Matli, Houcine. op.cit., p.47.
108) There are three unveiled articles of the Évian agreements, which remain even today top secret (secret d’état).
109) Cf. Évian accords. Section B. n°1.
110) Nowadays Sonatrach has more than 200 pipeline units and each one is recognized by a specific code
111) ″History of Hydrocarbons in Algeria.”Sonatrach. [Acceded 27 March 2015] 112) Mobil became ExxonMobil in 1999.
113) As listed by Matli, Hocine. Op.cit., p.101.
114) The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is a permanent, intergovernmental Organization, created at the Baghdad Conference on September 10–14, 1960, by Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Retrieved from [Acceded 28 March 2015] 115) Aissaoui, Ali. Op.cit., p.71.
116) Sometimes refereed by ‘oil decolonisation’. More details on Algerian hydrocarbons nationalization can be found in, Touscouz, Jean. “La Nationalisation Des Sociétés Pétrolières Françaises En Algérie.” La Revue Belge de Droit International (1972): 484-502. And, Grimaud, Nicole. “Le Conflit Pétrolier Franco- algérien.”Revue Française De Science Politique 22.6 (1972): 1276-307.
117) Sonatrach, International Energy conference, Houston, USA, sept. 1998.
118) More details, Matli, Hocine. “L’incroyable Feuilleton De La Nouvelle Loi Algérienne Sur Les Hydrocarbures (2001-2005).”op.cit., p.314-18.
119) This work focuses only on the key points of the law.
120) Alnaft (petrol in Arabic) is a public organism and belongs to the ministry of Energy, Alnaft delivers two types of mining licence: the H for hydrocarbons, and the M for the other general projects.
121)Naftal is the principal company selling petroleum-based fuels for domestic consumption in Algeria.
122) Reported by El Watan newspaper (07.12.2011)
123) Known by the abbreviation TRP (taxe sur le revenu pétrolier).
124)According to the US Energy Information Administration (US EIA) Algeria is estimated to hold the third largest amount of shale gas resources in the world. And as Algeria and the international partners in the nearer future are unable to get rid of hydrocarbon dependence, for the moment shale gas option remains the best opportunity for everyone. However, following the anti-shale gas campaign in Algeria (and abroad) Total, via their official Twitter account posted on 02.03.2015, denied any shale gas activity in Algeria while on their official website the oil group said to be present in “tight gas” project in the region of Tememoun as part of a consortium Sonatrach (51%), Total (37.5%), plus the Spanish oil group Cepsa (11.25%). According to the same site, production will start in 2017. The American company Halliburton claims that the company is just making exploration tests and no more, while BP remains silent despite having expressed interest in Algerian shale gas.
125) Algerian Embassy Belgium, Note sur les échanges extérieurs de l’Algérie en 2013, (Brussels, 2014) Available at, ext%C3%A9rieurs_de_l%E2%80%99Alg%C3%A9rie_en-2013.pdf . [Acceded 25 May 2015] 126 ) Only some of these chemical weapons were found.
127) Barack Obama unlike George W Bush Jr. prefers to lead from behind regarding worldwide conflicts; this doctrine is called the Smart Power, which is the combination of Soft Power doctrine of Bill Clinton and Hard Power doctrine applied by Bush W Jr.
128) Egypt is the other regional power concerned by the Libyan chaos.
129) Azawad are a group of Tuareg (a Berber ethnic substitute) located in the north of Mali, the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) declared their independence in 2012 after the Tuarerg rebellion, this event led to a national crisis, even if the roots of this conflict date back to the early 1990s, The Islamitst impact on this rebellion contributes a lot to the crisis between the Azawad and the government of Mali, for example the Islamist group Ansar El Dine (the defenders of Islam) is very active there.
130) The peace treaty will be signed in Bamako by June 2015.
131) Libya is an OPEC member since 1962.
132) Algeria joined the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in 1962 and was one of its leaders; the impact of this policy is still present.
133) In the Arab world Algeria is considered a regional power and this refusal is provoking tensions between Algiers and Riyadh.
134) A point the US ambassador to Algeria Joan .A. Polaschik confirmed in an interview for the TV show Min Washington (from Washington) Al-Jazeera channel (Arabic) broadcast on 14 April 2015. “… we [Algeria and USA] are confident that the solution in Libya is not military.” [Acceded 16 April 2015].
135) The USA is not appreciate in Algeria because it is the first ally of Israel, in the Algerian common belief the USA interfere in the Arab world matters to serve Israeli interests. Besides, the Algerian government does not recognize the state of Israel and backs the Palestinian cause. In a certain way, the Algerian regime is obliged to maintain normal diplomatic relations with the US administration but remains very careful.
136) “United States Africa Command, (U.S. AFRICOM) is one of six of the U.S. Defense Department’s geographic combatant commands and is responsible to the Secretary of Defense for military relations with African nations, the African Union, and African regional security organizations. A full-spectrum combatant command, U.S. AFRICOM is responsible for all U.S. Department of Defense operations, exercises, and security cooperation on the African continent, its island nations, and surrounding waters. AFRICOM began initial operations on Oct. 1, 2007, and officially became an independent command on Oct. 1, 2008.” Retrieved from AFRICOM official web site [Accessed 12 Apr. 2015].
137) The New York Times, ‘U.S. Officials Propose Sharing Drone Surveillance Data With Algerian Forces.’, 2013. Available at [Accessed 19 Apr. 2015].
138) Part of PM Abdelmalek Sellal’s speech during his visit to London in December 2014. Originally given in Arabic to the Algerian journalists present to cover the event, see also full declaration via PM Abdelmalek Sellal official Youtube channel [Acceded 30 Apr. 2015] 139) Check out his full biography via[Acceded 21 May 2015] 140 Cf. UKTI department Unliver: British airways, HSBC, British American Tobacco, Glaxo Smith Kline, Astra Zeneca, Biwater, United Insurance Brokers are the other British firms operating in Algeria.
141) BBC News, (2015). Why is BP important to the UK economy? Available at: [Accessed Feb. 2015].
142) Also called by Deepwater Horizon oil soil or BP oil spoil was an ecological catastrophe in which 4.1m barrels of oil spewed into the Gulf of Mexico over 87 days. The incident, even unintentional, caused tension between USA and the UK. To the present day, it is the biggest oil spoil in the history of the petroleum industry.
143) BP is active in liquid and natural gas sector in five countries: Argentina, Norway, Azerbaijan, Egypt and Algeria.
144) Wet gas is any gas with a small amount of liquid present.
145) Dry gas is mainly gas with some methane in it.
147) Platform London is a non-profit organisation, its current campaigns focus on the social, economic and environmental impacts of the global oil industry. More details on
148) Platform London. Op.cit.,p.6
149) See also, security-organisation/about [Acceded 12 April 2015] 150 Reported by Platform London 2013 report, check out main source at 2822000619[Acceded 12 April 2015] 151) The other countries are USA, France, Germany, Russia and China.
152) Great Britain has been working on this task since the lifting of the embargo on arms sale to Algeria in 2006.
153) Some material dated back from the USSR era.
154) Since Gaddafi’s fall, the Algerian army has seized huge quantities of arms and explosives nearby the Libyan borders.
155) Cf. Stockholm International Research Institute for Peace (SIPRI) to not confound with Global Firepower
analytical display of data concerning today’s world military powers, .
156 ) Stockholm International Research Institute for Peace (SIPRI)., (2014). Trends in international arms transfers, 2013. Available at: [Accessed 13 Apr. 2015].
157) Cf. Sonatrach official web site
158) Declaration of a Sonatrach official reported by the Financial Times, Financial Times, (2013). Crisis threatens Algeria’s future growth – Available at: 8497-00144feab49a.html [Accessed 13 Apr. 2015].
159) China is dominating the Algerian market in all areas, buildings, hydrocarbons, tourism, etc.
160) For instance, Great Britain has been criticised for selling weapons to Russia during the Crimea crisis, more details check out Jones, Owen. “Britain will never be a champion of democracy while it sells arms to tyrants”, The Guardian, 2014, Available at: tyrants-russia.[ Acceded 8 May 2015 ] 161) A conclusion made during the sixth session of the Algerian-British Cooperation Committee in 2012.
162) Global Fire Power (GFP) is a recognised web site specialising in weapons, it provides analytical displays of data concerning today’s world military powers.
163) The Algerian army occupies the 27th place worldwide among 126 nations.
164) In Algeria the military service known by El Khidma El Wataniya اﻟﻮطﻨﯿﺔ اﻟﺨﺪﻣﺔ of one year is a duty for all graduated men aged between 19 and 30 and punishable by a two years prison sentence in case of desertion, while women are totally excluded from this service and men without A- Level degree are free to whether accomplish or not the national military service.
165) Check out details detail.asp?country_id=algeria
166) Cf. Algerian Ministry of Defence
167) Niger called on the Algerian army to stop AQLIM but the Algerian government refused the request.
168) The Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) was created in 2011 to strengthen the international civilian architecture for addressing 21st century terrorism. Its primary objectives are to counter violent extremism and strengthen criminal justice and other rule of law institutions that deal with terrorism and related security challenges. By sharing expertise, identifying urgent needs, devising innovative solutions, and mobilizing resources, the GCTF is diminishing terrorist recruitment and increasing countries’ capabilities for dealing with terrorist threats within their borders and regions. GCTF has 30 founding members (29 countries and the European Union). More than 75 non-member countries and organizations have participated in Forum activities. Retrieved from the Bureau of Public Affairs section (US Department of State) official web site [Acceded 10 May 2015] 169) Algeria offered training and assistance to Malian officers in the military base of Tamanrasset before and after the Malian crisis. See also A.L. Ammour, “Understanding the Algerian Regional Diplomacy Machinery : The Case of Mali Crisis ”, Europe’s World, 6 December 2012 :
170) UK Ambassador to Algeria (2006-2010) Andrew Henderson, reported by the French military magazine Zone Militaire (27 Oct. 2009). la-grande-bretagne/ [Acceded 17 May 2015] 171) El Watan, ‘’La Grande-Bretagne se démarque des autres pays occidentaux: Des armes à l’Algérie «sans aucun préalable’’. (13.11.2010).
172) Bloomberg, “U.K. May Train Algerian Army in Counter-Terrorism”. (31 Jan. 2013). [Acceded 10 May 2015] 173) The other countries are USA (44%), Russia (17%), and France (8%).
174)Liberté, ‘L’ANP expose ses produits’. (12 June 2006).
175) Le Monde Diplomatique, ‘Les-armes-ne-sont-jamais-neutres’. (4 July 2014).
176) The MEKO 200by Germany is a frigate military engine model that belongs to the category of warships.
177) Texts taken from[Acceded 17.05.2015] Check out the same link for all the details.
178) See also the 1998 EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports full texts via
179) The consolidated list (290 pages) is available at 417.pdf (last update April 2015)
180) Platform London, Op.cit.,p.24
181) Regarding the article 74 of the Algerian constitution the candidature of Abdelaziz Bouteflika is not constitutional owing to his critical health but also to his very taboo celibacy; according to the Algerian constitution an unmarried man cannot be President.
182) EU Parliament, “Human rights: Yarmouk refugee camp, activists in Algeria and Nadiya Savchenk’’ Plenary sessions [30042015 – 17:38] 183) Amnesty International is a worldwide non-profit organisation founded in London in 1961. A.I fights for human rights and the respect of the Human Declaration of Human Rights chart established in 1948 in Paris and adopted by the United Nation the same year.
184) For more details check out the article Amnesty International Algeria published in their official web site[Acceded 23 May 2015] 185) Cf. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) data base.
186) The Algerian army during a raid in the province of Bouira (central northern province in Algeria) on 19 May 2015 killed 25 terrorists, among them the proclaimed chef of Daech in Algeria. For more details see the Algerian Ministry of Defence official web site: [Acceded 24 May 2015].
187) Tom Clancy (1947-2013) is an American novelist and historian.
General References:
Aissaoui, Ali. Algeria: The Political Economy of Oil and Gas. Oxford: Oxford University Press for the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, 2001.
Auzanneau, Matthieu. Or Noir. Paris: La Découverte, 2015.
Chomskey, Noam. Western State Terrorism. New York: Routledge, 1991.
Clinton, Hillary Rodham, and Kathleen Chalfant. Hard Choices. New York: Simon & Schuster Audio, 2014.
Hennebel, Ludovic, and Gregory Lewkowicz. Le problelème de la definition du terrorisme.Brussels: Bruylant, 2009.
Kirat, Mohamed Messaoud. El Irhab (terrorism). Riyadh: Naif Arab University, 2011.(In Arabic)
Malti, Hocine. Histoire secrète du pétrole algérien. Paris: La Découverte, 2010.
Martinez, Luis. La Guerre Civile En Algérie 1990-1998. Paris: Karthala, 1998.
Touati, Amine. Algérie, les Islamistes à l’Assaut du Pouvoir. Paris: L’Harmattan, 1995.

Sonatrach. International Energy Conference, Houston, USA, Sept. 1998.
Governmental Publications
Algerian Constitution, 1999. Art.2, 3, 26, 27, 36, 41, 47 and 74.
Algerian Embassy Belgium, Note Sur Les Echanges Extérieurs En Algérien En 2013 Brussels, 2014.
EU Parliament. Human rights: Yarmouk refugee camp, activists in Algeria and Nadiya Savchenk, 2015. Available at
Evian agreements, 1962. Section B, n°1.
Moukhafi, Mansouria. Algeria- An Unsteady Partner To Europe. London: European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), 2014.
The Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC). The War against Terrorism. Session 2005-2006. London: the Foreign Affairs Committee. London: FAC, 2006.
U.S Energy Information Administration (U.S Department of Energy),. Country Analysis Brief: Algeria, 2015.
U.S. Army Manual. Definition of terrorism, 2001.
UK Department for Business Innovations and Skills,. The consolidated list of strategic military and dual – use items that require export authorization. London, 2014.
UK Trade and Investment. Doing business in Algeria. London, 2013.

Addi, Lhouari. ‘Les Partis Politiques En Algérie’. Revue de l’Occident Musulman et de la Méditerranée (2006): 139-62.
Hafez, Mohammed M. ‘Armed Islamist Movements and Political Violence in Algeria’. The Middle East Journal 54.4 (2000): 573-91
Kellner, Douglas. ’9/11, spectacles of terror, and media manipulation’. Critical Discourse Studies 1.1 (2004).41-64
McDougall, James. ‘Savage wars? Codes of violence in Algeria, 1830-1990s’. Third World Quarterly 26.1 (2005): 117-131
Achy, Lahcen. ‘The Price of Stability in Algeria’. The Carnegie Papers (2013).
Botha, Anneli. ‘Suicide Attacks in Algeria: Al-Qaeda in the Land of the Islamic Maghreb (AQLIM)’. Real Instituto Elcano (2008).
Lyachi, Azzddine. Political Liberalisation And Party Radicalisation In Algeria: The Case Of The Islamic Front Of Salvation. Johannesburg: South African Institute of International Affairs (2009).

British Petroleum. BP annual report. London: bp P.l.C, 2014.
Congressional Research Service. Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 2004-2011. Washington. D.C: CRS, 2012.
Platform London. Reinforcing dictatorships, Britain gas grab and human rights abuses in Algeria. London: Platform, 2014.
Stockholm International Research Institute for Peace (SIPRI). Trends in international arms transfers, 2013. Solna, Sweden: SIPRI, 2014.

Castilo, Jésus, and Yassmine Osman. Algérie : une croissance dynamique malgré la dépendance accrue aux hydrocarbures. Paris: Groupe BPCE (Natixis), 2013.
Press Articles
Press Articles
BBC. ‘Why is BP important to the UK economy?’ 10 June 2013.
Bloomberg. ‘U.K. May Train Algerian Army in Counter-Terrorism’, 31 Jan. 2013.
El Watan. ‘La Grande-Bretagne se démarque des autres pays occidentaux: Des armes à l’Algérie sans aucun préalable’, 13 Nov. 2010.
Le Monde Diplomatique. ‘Les armes ne sont jamais neutres’, 04 July 2014.
Liberté. ‘L’ANP expose ses produits’, 12 June 2006.
The Financial Times. ‘Crisis threatens Algeria’s future growth’, 20 Jan. 2013.
The New York Times. ‘U.S. Officials Propose Sharing Drone Surveillance Data With Algerian Forces.’ 26 Feb. 2013.
Zone Militaire. ‘Accord de défense entre l’Algérie et la Grande-Bretagne.’ 27 Oct. 2009.

TV and Radio Documentaries
Sellal, Abdelmalek. PM A. Sellal Press Declaration: London Official Visit. Video, Dec. 2014. Available at (in Arabic)
‘Min Washington (from Washington): US Ambassador to Algeria Joan A. Polaschik.’ Interview by Abdelraheem Fakra. Al Jazeera Channel. Washington. D.C, 14 April 2015. Television. Available at
(in Arabic)
‘Ziyara Khassa (private visit): Madani Abassi.’ Interview by Sami Kalib. Al Jazeera Channel. Doha, 10. Jan. 2005. Television. Available at (in Arabic)


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