La lecture des câbles diplomatiques publiés par Wikileaks apporte toujours son lot de guignolades. Dernier en date, ce télégramme diplomatique américain qui rapporte la vision de la diplomatie française sur les relations entre notre pays, l’Algérie, la Tunisie et la Libye. Il est daté du 8 février 2010. A cette époque, le sous-directeur chargé de l’Afrique du Nord, Cyrille Rogeau ne voyait rien venir des bouleversements dans la région tant il pensait la population Tunisienne « docile » en échange du bonheur apporté par la croissance économique. Un must:
Rogeau claimed French relations with Tunisia have begun returning to ""normal"" since the December 2009 visit to Tunis of Frederic Mitterrand, French Minister of Culture and Communication. After a series of public spats during 2009, following the Government of Tunisia's strident reaction to French criticism of their treatment of journalists, Mitterand's trip reportedly helped diminish lingering tensions. The French currently perceive Tunisia as the most stable country in the Maghreb, according to Rogeau. Compared to their North African neighbors, he argued, Tunisia has a highly educated population (only a seven percent illiteracy rate, versus 50 percent in Morocco), with the lowest unemployment in the region, and a bureaucracy that functions reasonably well. Tunisia's economy has a strong reputation in the region, as exemplified by the investment it has attracted from Gulf countries. Rogeau claimed Tunisians appear to perceive a link between the practices of a police state and successful economic development; as a result, they accept a form of social contract: in exchange for stability PARIS 00000144 004 OF 004 and growth, the population keeps quiet. Moreover, apart from Ben Ali's succession, the French do not believe Tunisia faces destabilizing changes in the near-term. At the same time, Rogeau observed, Ben Ali's approach entails significant risks, including the growth of a middle class that demands more political freedom, and the risk that economic growth will slow or stop. If the government stops providing financial and social security, it will have broken the unspoken contract and the population may become less docile. ¶15. (C) As to one of the journalists whom the Government of Tunisia has harassed and imprisoned, Taoufik Ben Brik, Rogeau described him as ""not the best example"" of journalistic integrity. Rogeau reported that French courts are also currently pursuing Ben Brik, for having allegedly attacked a Tunisian woman who has decided to press charges against him in France. Ben Brik, according to Rogeau, is very well organized, with many contacts in France whom he has activated on his behalf. Nonetheless, the French no longer discuss his case with the Tunisians, Rogeau said. (NOTE: After French Foreign Minister Kouchner mentioned the case of Ben Brik in an interview in November 2009, Ben Ali responded angrily, accusing France, for the first time, of hypocrisy in light of its colonial history in Tunisia, according to Rogeau and MFA Tunisia Desk Officer Clemence Weulersse. See Paris Points, November 13, 2009. END NOTE.) --------------------------------------------- ------------ LIBYA -- DISAPPOINTED IN TRIPOLI'S COOLNESS TOWARD FRANCE --------------------------------------------- ------------ ¶16. (C) French relations with Libya are ""stable"" at the moment, according to Rogeau, but the French are growing increasingly frustrated with the Libyans' failure to deliver on promises regarding visas, professional exchanges, French language education, and commercial deals. ""We (and the Libyans) speak a lot, but we've begun to see that actions do not follow words in Libya,"" Rogeau lamented. ""The Libyans talk and talk but don't buy anything (from us). Only the Italians land any contracts."" The French have made many gestures, Rogeau claimed, which they believe have not reciprocated by the Libyans. He did cite one sign of progress: during his U.N. speech, Libyan leader Qaddafi did not attack either France or the U.S. directly. ""This omission was rare. We took note."" Rogeau said France must be patient, but they will move forward ""with less enthusiasm than before.""