March 24, 2023

Issued on:

French President Emmanuel Macron will visit Algeria next week in an effort to improve tense ties between Paris and Algiers, 60 years after the country gained independence from France.

Macron will visit Algeria from Thursday, August 25 to Saturday, the Élysée Palace said in a statement.

“This trip will contribute to deepen the bilateral relationship with a view to the future … to strengthen Franco-Algerian cooperation in the face of regional challenges and to continue the work of tackling the past”, the presidency said after a call between Macron and his to Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune.

The visit to Algeria comes shortly after the country marked the 60th anniversary of its independence from France.

Franco-Algerian ties hit rock bottom late last year after Macron reportedly questioned whether Algeria had existed as a nation before the French invasion and accused its “political-military system” of rewriting history and fueling ” hatred towards France”.

Algeria withdrew its ambassador, but the two sides appear to have restored ties since then.

The North African country gained independence from France after a grueling eight-year war that ended with the signing in March 1962 of the Evian Accords.

On July 5 of the same year, days after 99.72 percent voted for independence in a referendum, Algeria finally broke away from colonial rule — but memories of its 132-year occupation continue to haunt ties to France.

Sixty years after the Évian Accords, Algerians and French remember the trauma of the war and its aftermath. © Studio Graphique – France Médias Monde

Macron’s trip will be his second official visit to the North African country, which has close business ties to Paris.

See also  US Senate approves more military aid for Ukraine after Zelensky’s historic visit

Thanks to its large natural gas reserves, Algeria has also recently been the focus of the European Union’s efforts to reduce imports from Russia.