France takes small steps to revive Algerian ties – .

France takes small steps to revive Algerian ties – .

December 8 (Reuters) – The French foreign minister returned from Algeria on Wednesday after holding open-air talks to revive relations after the collapse of relations between the two countries in recent months, a diplomat saying he it was a step to “turn the page”.

Relations between Paris and its former colony hit new lows in October after President Emmanuel Macron questioned whether there had been an Algerian nation before French colonial rule and the “politico-military system” of France. Algeria had rewritten the history of its colonization by France on the basis of “a hatred of France”.

It came just a month after France drastically reduced visa quotas for citizens coming from North Africa, including Algeria, moves that prompted Algiers to close its airspace to military fighting from France. in neighboring Mali and to recall its ambassador.

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Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian’s unexpected trip to Algiers on Wednesday, who met with President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, aimed to put everything on the table and open a way to resume dialogue, told reporters a French diplomatic source on condition of anonymity.

“None of us can afford to let this degraded situation continue. There is a willingness to reignite our relationship and resolve the issues that hurt her, ”the source said.

“It was a visit that did not end the complicated period of Franco-Algerian relations in which we find ourselves, but a page has turned. “

Paris had already taken a first step last month to repair bridges when a French presidential aide said Macron regretted the controversies and misunderstandings generated by his comments.

The diplomatic source indicated that if Algiers has not committed to authorizing the resumption of French military flights, a discussion on the issue is now open. However, he said Algiers was now ready to allow emergency medical evacuation flights for French troops from Mali to pass through its airspace.

The issue of migration was also discussed, he said.

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Report by John Irish in Doha; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Alistair Bell

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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