ALGIERS- The President of the Republic, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, will hold, Thursday, a press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron. President Tebboune will speak only in Arabic during this press briefing. French President will arrive in Algeria tomorrow, accompanied by a delegation, for a 3-day working visit. The visit begins on Thursday August 25 and will continue until Saturday August 27. The French President will visit Algiers and Oran.
“This trip will contribute to deepen the bilateral relationship for the benefit of the populations of the two countries, strengthen Franco-Algerian cooperation in the face of regional issues and continue the work of healing memories”, declared the Elysée according to AFP.
Algerian-French relations witnessed unprecedented tensions, with rapid developments pushing them to an unknown horizon after the provocative and irresponsible statements uttered by the Elysee Palace inmate Emmanuel Macron, who questioned the existence of an Algerian nation before the brutal French occupation of Algeria in 1830.
In his latest gaffe, France’s President Emmanuel Macron made critical remarks about Algeria, during a meeting with descendants of Harkis (people who fought with the French army against Algerian revolutionists).
Macron’s comments sparked anger among the Algerian officials and people. The Algerian Presidency of the Republic which announced that it had summoned Algeria’s ambassador to Paris, Mohamed Antar Daoud, for consultations, took a second decision to close Algerian airspace to the French military warplanes, in response to these irresponsible and provocative statements by the French President Emmanuel Macron.
President Tebboune dubbed French President Emmanuel Macron’s statements on Algeria “very dangerous.”
In his interview with the German weekly Der Spiegel, President Tebboune explained, “When a head of state declares that Algeria was not a nation in the fullest sense of the word, things become very dangerous,” stressing that it is not a personal problem (with Macron), but rather a national one.
Mr. Tebboune also stressed that “the history of a people should not be prejudiced and Algerians should not be offended,” describing Macron’s statements as “an old hatred.”
President Tebboune went to say that “President Macron has completely and in vain revived an old rivalry,” adding that “if the far-right journalist Eric Zemmour makes such statements, no one will pay any attention to him, but when a head of state declares that Algeria was not a nation in the truest sense of the word, then it becomes very dangerous.
President Tebboune highlighted that “Macron does not think like that,” considering that his statements have “electoral” motives, adding that “President Macron, through this statement, has sided with those who justify colonialism.”
Following these developments, the French President Emmanuel Macron seeked, multiple times, to reconnect with his Algerian counterpart, President Abdelmadjid Tebboune. According to the French daily “L’Opinion”, the French President tried, in November, to talk to his Algerian counterpart , in particular to convince him to come to Paris for the Conference on Libya, held during that month. However, his efforts were in vain!
The French President, Emmanuel Macron regretted what he called “the misunderstandings from comments he made about Algeria, in an indication that Paris is trying to calm relations with the North African country.
A French presidential official stated before the holding, in Paris, of a conference on Libya, to which Mr. Tebboune had been invited, that Algiers was a key actor in the region and Macron wanted him to attend.
The official expressed, during a press brief devoted to the conference on Libya, Macron’s regrets after the comments he made:
“The president regrets the controversies and misunderstandings generated by the remarks reported and I will add that President Macron has the greatest respect for the Algerian nation, its history and the sovereignty of Algeria,” the official said.
“He is strongly attached to the development of our two countries bilaterally for the benefit of the Algerian and French populations, and also to meet the great regional challenge, starting with Libya.”
“President Macron has the greatest respect for the Algerian nation, for its history and for the sovereignty of Algeria,” said the Elysee, expressing France’s willingness to further enhance bilateral relationship for the benefit of the Algerian and French peoples and to cooperate with it to respond to major regional challenges, starting with Libya”.
“Algeria is a major player in the region and the president wishes the participation of President Tebboune in this conference”, according to the adviser.
Later, a high-ranking French delegation paid a visit to Algeria, following which the Algerian ambassador to Paris, Mohamed-Antar Daoud, resumed his duties in the French capital, and was received at the Elysée Palace and the Quai d’Orsay.
“Ambassador Mohamed-Antar Daoud was received successively, Thursday, January 13, 2022, by the Secretary General of the Elysée Palace, Mr. Alexis Kohler and the Director of North Africa and the Middle East, at the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Foreign (MEAE), Ms. Anne Gueguen”, specified the a press release from the Algerian embassy in France.
During these meetings, the French officials “welcomed the resumption of contacts between the two parties, while aspiring a new stage in relations between the two countries”.