Middle East

French President Emmanuel Macron seeks ties with Algeria beyond a ‘troublesome’ history.news

Relations with Algiers have become more important for Europe as demand for gas increased amid the war in Ukraine.

President Emmanuel Macron said France and Algeria should look beyond their “painful” shared history and look to the future, kicking off a three-day visit to the former colony.

“We have a complicated and painful common past that has sometimes prevented us from seeing the future,” Macron said after meeting with Algerian President Abdelmadjid Teboun on Thursday.

At a press conference, Tebboune said he hoped the visit would bring “encouraging results” and “open new vistas for partnership and cooperation with France”.

He said they had discussed ways to bring stability to Libya, the Sahel region and the disputed Western Saharan territory.

French colonial rule in Algeria and the bitter War of Independence that ended in 1962 haunted relationship Between the two countries for decades.

Relations with Algiers have become more important for Paris, with the war in Ukraine increasing European demand for North African gas and the surge in immigration across the Mediterranean.

European countries Heading to Algeria — Africa’s largest gas exporter with direct pipelines to Spain and Italy — to end Russia’s dependence on hydrocarbons.

Algiers, on the other hand, is trying to take advantage of rising energy prices to secure investment from Europe.

President Macron has tried many times to turn the page in his former colony. In 2017, before his election, he called France’s actions, which killed hundreds of thousands of Algerians in the 1954-62 war, a “crime against humanity.”

The declaration won him popularity in Algeria, but was politically controversial in France, home to more than four million people of Algerian origin.

But he took the storm by storm in Algeria last year. ruled out issuing an official apology He suggested that Algeria’s national identity did not exist before French rule.

He also appeared to blame Algeria’s ruling class — still ruled by the generation that fought for independence — for rewriting the history of the struggle for independence on the basis of their hatred of France.

Algeria resigned as ambassador Closing airspace to French planes for consultations, complicating French military missions in the Sahel.

Before meeting with Tebboune, President Macron visited a memorial to the Algerians who died in the war and laid a wreath there. He said the two governments would set up a joint commission of historians to study the colonial archives.

French historians estimate that half a million civilians and combatants died in Algeria’s bloody war of independence, of which 400,000 were Algerians. Algerian officials say 1.5 million people have died.

The Tebboune office said more than 5.6 million Algerians were killed during the colonial period in October.

Algeria’s human rights groups have urged President Macron not to overlook human rights abuses by the government that came to power after a longtime leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika Resigned in 2019.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/8/25/frances-macron-seeks-ties-with-algeria-beyond-painful-history French President Emmanuel Macron seeks ties with Algeria beyond a ‘troublesome’ history.news

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