Relations deteriorated last year after comments by Emmanuel Macron about Algeria’s history led to a diplomatic rift.
French President Emmanuel Macron will visit Algeria next week in an effort to improve strained relations between Paris and Algiers.
Macron has accepted the invitation of Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, his office said on Saturday. This will be Macron’s second official visit to the North African country after a brief visit in December 2017 at the start of his first term when Abdelaziz Bouteflika was still president.
Franco-Algerian relations hit low Late last year, after Macron reportedly questioned whether Algeria existed as a country before the French invasion and accused its “political-military system” of rewriting history and cultivates “hate towards the Dharma”.
“This trip will contribute to the deepening of our forward-looking bilateral relationship … to strengthen Franco-Algerian cooperation in the face of regional challenges and to continue work on resolving the past.” , the French president said in a statement after the call between Macron and Tebboune.
Macron will visit the former French colony from August 25 to 27.
The North African nation gained its independence from France after an eight-year war, which ended with the signing of the Evian Accords in March 1962.
On July 5 of the same year, days after 99.72 percent voted for independence in a referendum, Algeria was finally free from colonial rule – but memories of 132 years of work continued to haunt relations with France.
Algeria’s war of independence left hundreds of thousands of people dead. French historians say half a million civilians and fighters died – 400,000 of them Algerians – while Algerian authorities claim 1.5 million were killed.
But six decades on, despite a series of gestures by Macron, France has ruled out any form of apology for the colonial period.
French President announces upcoming visit to Algeria scroll from the devastating forest fire aggravated by climate change.
Fires in northeastern Algeria have killed 38 people, and devastated more than 10% of the UNESCO biosphere reserve.
While the fire in the northeast has been largely extinguished, firefighters battled two blazes in the far west on Saturday, the Algerian civil defense force said.
Macron has asked the ground and air fire services of Tebboune France to help, the president said.
Thanks to its large natural gas reserves, Algeria has also recently become the center of attention of the European Union in its efforts to cut imports from Russia.
Macron’s trip will be the French president’s second trip to Algeria as head of state, and will take him to both the capital Algiers and the second city of Oran.
Tebboune, Bouteflika’s former prime minister, won the presidential election in 2019 after mass protests forced his elderly predecessor to resign.