What is behind the “invitation to visit” that Algeria sent to French President Macron?

It is said that the international situation, the evolution of alliances and conflicts of interest are at the origin of the rapid rapprochement of Algeria with France, whose relations have been shaken by the diplomatic crisis in the recent past.

Algerian President Abdulmecid Tebboune’s invitation to his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, who was elected president for the second time, is seen as a “surprise” given the crisis that has rocked relations between the two countries.

The international situation, changing alliances and conflicts of interest make it inevitable that relations between Algeria and Paris will improve after the presidential elections in France.

No one expected relations between the two countries to improve so quickly. Given the problems in previous relationships, Tebbun’s characterization of Macron as “a dear friend” in his congratulatory message drew attention.

Between the lines of Tebbun’s congratulatory message

Referring to Macron’s insulting remarks against his country, the Algerian president did not forget to specify that this partnership must be based on “respect for sovereignty and the balance of interests”.

While declaring himself satisfied with his personal relationship with Macron, which he considers “based on trust”, Tebbun on the other hand qualified the evolution of the Algerian-French partnership as “relative” and underlined that it was not unsatisfied. .

Tebbun, who associated Macron’s invitation to visit his country with “the desire to initiate a dynamic that would allow progress in the search for solutions to important issues”, noted that the issues in question are “the shared memory, human relations, political consultation, strategic and economic foresight”. Cooperation”.

Referring to Macron’s insulting remarks against his country, the Algerian president did not forget to specify that this partnership must be based on “respect for sovereignty and the balance of interests”.

The crisis triggered by Macron’s statements in October 2021 is inseparable from the electoral campaign during which he tried to attract the far right to his side. Tebbun’s message can be seen as an effort to get out of this crisis.

Macron escaped far-right pressure

It can be said that Macron, whose first presidency was thought to be linked to various far-right pressures, as president for the second time, “has been freed from electoral pressures, which can be seen as one of the reasons for its aggression against the history of Algeria”.

While France was expected to apologize for its colonial crimes in Algeria, especially after Macron called colonialism a “crime against humanity” during his election campaign in 2017, pressure from the extreme right led him to take a step back.

During his first presidency, Macron contented himself with a few symbolic gestures, such as the partial opening of the Algerian archives during the colonial period and the condemnation of the massacre of Algerians, who organized a peaceful demonstration in support of the struggle for peace. independence of Algeria on October 17, 1961 in the capital. , Paris.

It can be said that Macron, whose first presidency was thought to be linked to various far-right pressures, as president for the second time, “has been freed from electoral pressures, which can be seen as one of the reasons for its aggression against the history of Algeria”.

In Macron’s second term, he may take bolder steps on the issue of “shared memory” with Algeria. This is made possible by the admission by his country of the crimes of colonization of Algeria for 132 years.

Macron’s victory in the elections is a victory for Algeria

Despite the disappointment that Macron left in the Algerian administration during his first presidency, despite the differences on various issues and files between the two countries, this does not change the fact that the victory of the far right Marine Le Pen in the presidential election is the worst scenario one can imagine for the Algerians.

Algeria has a large diaspora in France, some of whom have the right to vote.

Le Pen’s program, which is against Muslims and immigrants, has not served the interests of Algeria, which has around 4 million expatriates in France.

The two unannounced visits of French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian to Algeria, 4 days after the first round of the presidential election and 10 days before the second round, contained numerous files.

It should not be forgotten that one of the issues discussed during these visits was Macron’s support against Le Pen. After the visit in question, the appeal by the head of the Grand Mosque of Paris to support Macron against Le Pen proved it.

Indeed, Algeria, which finances the Grand Mosque of Paris, is able to ask someone else to replace the official of the Grand Mosque of Paris, where a French citizen of Algerian origin is appointed.

Le Pen’s program, which is against Muslims and immigrants, has not served the interests of Algeria, which has around 4 million expatriates in France. Although some of the approximately 4 million Algerians in France have obtained citizenship and permanent residence, a significant number of them still live in the country without a residence permit.

For this reason, Le Pen’s defeat is considered a victory for Algeria, but Macron must pay the price for his support in the elections.

The crisis between Spain and Algeria

One of the reasons why Algeria moved quickly to close the crack in its relations with France was the outbreak of an unexpected crisis with Spain.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez sent a letter to King Mohammed VI of Morocco on March 18, saying his country considers Rabat’s plan to resolve the Western Sahara issue as “the most serious attempt”.

Faced with Spain’s attitude, Algeria summoned its ambassador Musa Said to Madrid in the country for consultation on March 19. The Algerian authorities increased the natural gas it exports to Spain, among the countries that later became its customers.

It is expected that Algeria, which is expected to suspend meat imports from Spain as well as freeze cooperation with Madrid on immigrants, may react with more sanctions against the European country, Spain.

These conditions oblige Algeria not to open a front against two important countries of the northern Mediterranean, members of the European Union, at the same time.

Consequently, the Algerian authorities have intensified their moves to increase coordination with Paris, beyond easing pressure on France, alongside increasing their pressure on the Spanish front.

Meanwhile, Algeria’s deal with Rome to increase its natural gas exports to Italy from 21 billion cubic meters to 30 billion cubic meters per year in 2023-2024 has caught France’s attention. . In fact, French Foreign Minister Le Drian visited Algeria on April 14 to discuss various issues as well as to secure his country’s share of Algerian gas.

As a result, the crisis between Spain and Algeria has accelerated the overcoming of disagreements on the France-Algeria line.

Enter a period of calm in relationships

On September 28, 2021, the French government announced that visa conditions for Algerians were tightened, on the grounds that Algeria was not cooperating with the return of illegal immigrants to their country.

Algeria also protested against Paris, which imposed visa restrictions on its citizens, by summoning the French ambassador to Algeria, François Gouyette, to the foreign ministry.

France’s President Macron said he doubted the existence of the “Algerian people” before the French colony of 1830-1962, further escalating the tension.

Following Macron’s remarks published in the newspaper Le Monde on October 2, 2021, according to which Algeria built its colonial history on hatred of France, the Algerian administration closed its airspace to French military aircraft on Sunday October 3 .

Undertaking the task of extinguishing the fire in the relations between the two countries, French Foreign Minister Le Drian visited Algeria on December 29, 2021 and met with President Tebbun. Le Drian’s visit to convey the message of “melting the ice caused by misunderstandings” between France and Algeria was not officially announced.

Le Drian’s aforementioned visit allowed Algiers’ ambassador to Paris Mohammad Anter Davud, summoned 3 months ago in response to Macron’s “colonial period declarations”, to resume his duties on January 5, 2022.

Tebbun and Macron made their first phone call on January 19 after the aforementioned crisis. Macron, as President of the Council of the European Union, invited Tebbun to the planned “Africa-Europe Summit” in Brussels.

Although Algerian President Tebboune did not attend the aforementioned summit, Macron’s telephone invitation was effective in melting the ice between the two countries. A few months after this phone call, Algeria authorized French military planes to cross Mali using its airspace.

Thus, the international situation, changing alliances and conflicts of interest make it inevitable that relations between Algeria and Paris will improve after the presidential elections in France.

On the Anadolu Agency website, news presented to subscribers through the AA’s News Flow System (HAS) is published in summary. Please contact for subscription.

Leave a Comment