Algerian ambassador returns to Paris after diplomatic quarrel

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at the headquarters of the African Union, February 9, 2020.

Algeria returned its recalled ambassador to France at the end of May after the broadcast of two French documentaries on the popular anti-regime movement of the Hirak, signaling the return to normal of the often tumultuous relations between the two countries.

Salah Lebdioui “Has resumed since yesterday” (Monday), the Algerian embassy in Paris told AFP on Tuesday (June 16), confirming Algerian press reports.

This umpteenth diplomatic quarrel ended after French President Emmanuel Macron called his Algerian counterpart Abdelmadjid Tebboune on June 2. The two heads of state pledged to “Work for a peaceful relationship and an ambitious revival of bilateral cooperation”.

The Algerian diplomat was recalled for consultation on May 27 in an atmosphere of permanent distrust by the Algerian authorities against the media, especially foreigners.

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It is only the second time, in the history of Franco-Algerian diplomacy, that an Algerian ambassador to France has been recalled to Algiers since independence in 1962.

Algerian foreign ministry blamed two documentaries – Algeria, my love and Algeria: the promises of dawn “, broadcast on May 26 on the public service channel France 5 and La Chaîne Parlementaire (LCP) – to harm the “Algerian people and their institutions”, including the military.

He saw it as an act of “Malevolence” of “Certain circles which do not wish the advent of peaceful relations between Algeria and France”, fifty-eight years after the independence of the former French colony.

Anti-French speech

In a meeting with Algerian media on June 12, President Tebboune said he had ” no problem “ with his French counterpart, pointing out that he had posted positions “Who honor him” on the question of memory and “Crimes of French colonialism”.

This controversy illustrated once again the volatile nature of bilateral relations.

At the beginning of April, the French ambassador to Algeria, Xavier Driencourt, had already been summoned to Algerian foreign affairs after remarks made on the international channel France 24 concerning Chinese medical aid, which had greatly displeased in Algiers. The ambassador recalled the independence of the press in France.

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Paris is striving not to add fuel to the fire while the anti-French discourse remains a powerful factor of legitimization in the eyes of the Algerian authorities.

France has thus refrained from all criticism after a series of arrests of militants of the Hirak movement.

With its thousands of kilometers of borders with Mali, Niger and Libya, Algeria is a key player in the fight against jihadism in the Sahel, where France is involved militarily.

The World with AFP

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