In accordance with its longstanding position of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries, Algeria has publicly stated that it does not take sides in the Libyan conflict, that it scrupulously abides by the U.N. Security Council resolutions pertaining to Libya, and that, like many, including NATO, it favors a political solution to the Libyan crisis. 

Let’s look more closely at the facts.  Gabriel claims that Algeria voted against the Arab League decision to support a U.N. no-fly zone over Libya. He is wrong. The Arab League decision was adopted by consensus – by all its members.  Moreover, Algeria immediately thereafter expressed its commitment to abide by U.N. Resolution 1973, which established a no-fly zone over Libya, and scrupulously did so.  

Gabriel also alleges that 15 Algerians were caught by Libyan rebels. This might be accurate – but even if it were, it would convey nothing about the Government of Algeria’s stance towards Libya. Mercenaries from African countries frequently travel across the continent to fight in other nations’ wars, but such individual activities by no means represent their home governments’ foreign policies. Would Gabriel maintain that a captured Moroccan reflected Rabat’s support for Gadhafi? 

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The crisis in Libya is serious, and demands the attention of both the international community and mature regional leaders. Using the crisis as a pretense upon which to attack a neighbor that is working in good faith to address the situation is irresponsible and raises serious questions regarding Morocco’s true regional interests.

This letter was written by Gare Smith on behalf of the Algerian Government, a client of Foley Hoag LLP