Sunday 10 October 2021
Books – Muhammad Ataya:
Relations between France and Algeria entered a new phase of turmoil with the summoning of the Algerian ambassador to Paris, in response to statements by the French president in which he doubted that Algeria did not have a nation before French colonialism.
On Saturday, Algeria decided to “immediately recall” its ambassador to Paris, in response to statements reported by Le Monde newspaper, in which Macron considered that Algeria, after its independence in 1962, was built on “memory revenue” consecrated by the “political-military system,” and questioned the existence of an Algerian nation before French colonialism. .
French military sources indicated a few days ago that Algeria prevented French military planes from flying over its territory in response to Macron’s statements.
Today, Sunday, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune stressed that the return of his country’s ambassador to France again is conditional on Paris’ full respect for Algeria, at a time when the relationship between the two countries is experiencing great tensions following statements by French President Emmanuel Macron that Algeria considers offensive.
“The return of our ambassador to Paris is conditional on full respect for Algeria,” the Algerian president said in statements carried by state television, adding, “The French president should forget that Algeria was a French colony.”
Algerian political science professor, Fouad Gedo, believes that Algerian-French relations are “complex and intertwined”, for historical, geographic, economic and other reasons.
He added, in statements to Masrawy, that on every electoral date, the French party would enter Algeria in the electoral competition to win over the right-wing party, pointing out that “this time there is a clear rejection by Algeria of everything related to security and the Algerian nation.”
He explained that “France’s positions are clear after the elections. It wants to bargain with the Algerian side, especially the economic and security aspect in the Sahel region, in exchange for Paris to stop supporting banned movements in Algeria.”
Gedo revealed, “Macron wants to win over the right to gain support in the elections at the expense of Algeria, especially me [السترات الصفراء] They reject Macron’s policies.”
The last serious crisis to this extent between the two countries dates back to February 23, 2005, when the French Parliament passed a law recognizing the “positive role of colonialism.”
Although it was later repealed, this law nullified the friendship treaty signed by the late French President Jacques Chirac and his Algerian counterpart Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
Is there any solution?
The Algerian political science professor stressed that the matter is linked to the results of the elections on the one hand and the Algerian decisions on the other hand, especially after the airspace was closed to French military aviation and the reduction of the shares of French companies and other decisions that Algeria could take as a kind of escalation.
He explained that “all possibilities are open, but I think that things will go to calm after the elections.”
These recent tensions were not the first of their kind. In May 2020, Algeria recalled its ambassador, Salah El-Bdioui, following the broadcast of a documentary film about the anti-regime movement in Algeria on two official French channels.
In April 2021, French Prime Minister Jean Castix canceled at the last minute a visit to Algeria at her request, as she was dissatisfied with the size of the French ministerial delegation.
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