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Visiting Algiers to relaunch the bilateral relationship after more than two months of a crisis of rare gravity, the head of French diplomacy, Jean-Yves Le Drian, tried to dissipate the tension between the two countries by calling for a “peaceful relationship”.
The trip had been kept secret until the last moment. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian met Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune on Wednesday (December 8th) in Algiers, where he called a “peaceful relationship” between France and Algeria.
“We hope that the dialogue that we are relaunching today can lead to a resumption of political exchanges between our two governments in 2022, beyond the wounds of the past that we must face in the face of the misunderstandings that it is our responsibility to exceed “, declared Jean-Yves Le Drian to the press after the meeting with the Algerian head of state.
The French foreign minister also affirmed that Algeria was “an essential partner for France bilaterally, but also regionally”.
“France and Algeria are jointly facing major challenges in an uncertain regional and international environment. We must be able to offer operational responses to the challenges posed by terrorism in the Sahel region, but also illegal emigration as well. than economic development issues. On all these subjects and because our interests are common, our consultation is essential and that was the meaning of my presence today in Algiers, “he continued.
A “delicate mission” for Jean-Yves Le Drian
“Faced with the blockage in his relations with Algiers, President Macron has charged his Minister of Foreign Affairs with a delicate mission: return to ‘normality’ with Algeria, counter existing tensions and resume political dialogue with the Algerian authorities “, said in a tweet Hasni Abidi, director of the Center for Studies and Research on the Arab and Mediterranean World in Geneva (Switzerland).
Jean-Yves Le Drian’s visit aims to relaunch the bilateral relationship after more than two months of a crisis of rare gravity between the North African country and the former colonial power, fueled in particular by a conflict of memory.
President Emmanuel Macron sparked the ire of Algiers in October by accusing, according to statements reported by the French daily Le Monde, the Algerian “politico-military” system of maintaining a “memorial rent” around the war of independence and France, a former colonial power. Comments made public while Paris has started work to try to appease this memorial question in France.
According to the daily, he also questioned the existence of an “Algerian nation” before French colonization, causing strong reactions in Algerian society. In protest, Algeria recalled its ambassador to Paris on October 3 and banned the overflight of its territory to French military planes rallying the Sahel.