French Presidents Emmanuel Macron and Algerian Abdelmadjid Tebboun on Friday officially turned the page on the latest diplomatic crisis between their two countries, said the Élysée Palace, which claims it wants to continue to “strengthen cooperation” between Paris and Algiers with a very tumultuous relationship.
The two heads of state referred in a telephone interview to “misunderstandings” related to the spat over the Franco-Algerian activist and “agreed to strengthen communication channels (…) to prevent the recurrence of such a regrettable misunderstanding,” the French president added in a statement. The Algerian Presidency issued a press release identical to the French one.
Despite being banned from leaving Algerian territory, activist Amira Buraoui entered Tunisia on 3 February before being arrested while trying to board a plane bound for Paris. On February 6, she finally managed to fly to France, despite an attempt by the Tunisian authorities to deport her to Algeria.
Algeria considered his departure to France an “illegal exfiltration” carried out with the help of representatives of the French diplomatic and security personnel, and recalled its ambassador to Paris, Said Moussi, for consultations. “President Abdelmajid Tebboune has informed the head of state of the return of the Algerian ambassador to France in the coming days,” said a press release confirming Mr. Tebboune’s statements to that effect this week.
In addition, a new French ambassador to Algeria will soon be appointed, a French government source said. Amira Burawi rose to prominence in 2014 when she opposed the election of then-president Abdelaziz Bouteflika to a fourth term before joining the Hirak protest movement.
In June 2020, she was sentenced to one year in prison and received a conditional release in July of the same year.
State visit to France
After a cold snap in the fall of 2021, France and Algeria recorded warming during Emmanuel Macron’s trip to Algiers last August, before this new estrangement, another twist in a very close relationship.
According to the press release, the two presidents “provided an update on bilateral relations and on the implementation of the Algiers Declaration signed during the visit of the President of the Republic to Algiers last August. They stressed the need to strengthen cooperation between the two countries in all areas in connection with the state visit to France by President Abdelmajid Tebbun.”
The Algerian head of state is expected to visit France in May, which will be a particularly important milestone in an attempt to bring these two countries closer together, which have very strong human and historical ties marked by colonization, the war of independence and Algerian immigration to France. This desire for a reset is part of the context of major diplomatic maneuvering between France, Algeria and Morocco, Algeria’s regional rival, which also maintains a close relationship with Paris and has difficulty appreciating its desire for a rapprochement with Algeria.
The end of France’s Maghreb visa policy in December hinted at a new era in diplomatic relations, but the Burawi case marked a diversion, as often happens.
“The two presidents also considered issues of regional stability, in particular the fight against terrorism in the Sahel,” concludes the French presidency, Algeria is a major player in the Sahelo-Saharan strip, whose countries (Mali, Niger, Mauritania, Burkina Faso) are facing very active jihadist groups and where France is stationing important military forces.
Source: Le Parisien
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