Five years after last visit, Macron to return to Algeria in bid to reset ties
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.
Macron’s trip will be his second official visit to the North African country, which has close business ties to Paris.
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.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, REUTERS)