PARIS- The 8th Algerian-French Political Consultations at the level of the secretaries general of Foreign Affairs Ministries was held Friday, in Paris, under the co-presidency of Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and National Community Abroad Amar Belani and Secretary General of the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Anne Marie Descôtes.
This meeting, which takes place following the State and friendship visit of the French President at the invitation of the President of the Republic, Mr. Abdelmadjid Tebboune from 25 to 27 August in Algiers, afforded an opportunity to carry out an examination of overall relations and cooperation between the two countries, with a view to operationalizing the Algiers Declaration on the renewed partnership between Algeria and France, signed on August 27, 2022 in Algiers.
The discussions, which took place in a positive and quality atmosphere, made it possible to identify concrete avenues for strengthening cooperation, in anticipation of their validation on the occasion of the 5th session of the Algerian-French High-Level Intergovernmental Committee, slated in Algiers on October 9 and 10, 2022.
These consultations were also an opportunity to discuss regional and international issues of common interest, particularly the Libyan dossier, the cause of Western Sahara, the situation in the Sahel and Mali as well as other global issues.
France accelerates rapprochement: French Premier set to visit Algeria on this date!
French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne is expected to visit Algeria on the ninth and tenth of next October.
In a statement issued by the French government, this latter announced that Borne will meet, during the visit, with her Algerian counterpart, Aïmene Benabderrahmane, with the aim of consolidating the “renewed partnership” declaration signed at the end of last month by Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune and French President Emmanuel Macron.
In this vein, the same communiqué aded that: “In line with the joint declaration for the renewal of the partnership between Algeria and France, members of the French and Algerian governments will meet to reaffirm their determination to strengthen the friendship between France and Algeria and to deepen bilateral cooperation in areas of common interest.”
“Elisabeth Borne will be accompanied by several members of the French government, and will co-chair with her Algerian counterpart Aïmene Benabderrahmane, the fifth session of the high-level intergovernmental committee (CIHN)”, it further explained.
“The youth of both countries will be on the menu of this high-level intergovernmental committee, which will also make it possible to move forward on economic issues and ecological transition. A renewed, concrete and ambitious partnership”.
In a related context, Prime Minister Aïmene Benabderrahmane received, last week, a phone call from his French counterpart Elisabeth Borne with whom he reviewed ways and means to further strengthen the bilateral relations, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.
“Prime Minister Aïmene Benabderrahmane received, Monday, a phone call from French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne. The talks confirmed the political will of the leaders of the two countries to work to further strengthen bilateral relations, in particular on the occasion of the holding of the high-level Algerian-French governmental Commission, scheduled for October 9 and 10, 2022 in Algiers”, underlined the press release.
President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, paid, last month (August), a three-day official visit to Algeria, during which both presidents inked, on August 27th, 2022, “the Declaration of Algiers for a renewed partnership.”
The new declaration includes a set of understandings related to the memory file and the past of French colonialism of Algeria (1830 – 1962), and cooperation in the field of security, defense and the economy, including food.
“I think it is a success, it is a very successful visit which has put a lot of things back in the right place and which has enabled a rapprochement which wouldn’t have been possible without the personality of President Macron”, said President Abdelmadjid Tebboune.
During Macron’s visit, Algeria and France signed 5 bilateral cooperation agreements in various fields, including the education, health and sports sectors. Besides, President of the Republic, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, the minister of National Defense, chaired with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, a meeting of the heads of security services in the two countries. In this coordination meeting, “the first of its kind at such a level since independence, the two sides exchanged views on security issues of common interest for the two countries.
Earlier, Algerian-French relations witnessed unprecedented tensions 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 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 on 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”.