President Emmanuel Macron of France on Tuesday said he hoped the diplomatic row with Algeria would ease so the two countries could make progress on the bilateral front.
Tensions between France and Algeria had risen following a row over visas and critical comments made by the French government about the African country. According to media reports, Macron told descendants of Algeria’s independence war that the North African country was ruled by a “political-military system” that had “completely re-written” its history.
Algeria said the reported remarks were an “interference” in its internal affairs.
The country recalled its ambassador from Paris over the weekend and barred French military planes from its airspace, which France regularly uses to reach its forces fighting jihadists in the Sahel region.
However, speaking on France Inter broadcaster on Tuesday, Macron said he has a “truly cordial” relationship with Algeria’s President, Abdelmadjid Tebboune.
He added, “My wish is for a calming down because I think it’s better to talk and to make progress.”
Last week, Algiers was also enraged when France announced that it would drastically reduce the number of visas granted to citizens of Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia.
Paris stated that the decision was necessitated by the former colonies’ failure to do enough to allow illegal migrants in France to be repatriated.
The latest spat comes just two weeks after Macron apologized on behalf of his country for abandoning Algerians who fought alongside France in their country’s independence war, which was fought with extreme brutality on both sides, including widespread torture.
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