Sunday, October 17, 2021

Algeria recalls ambassador to France as tensions rise

Algeria on Saturday rejected “unacceptable interference” in its affairs, hours after it recalled its ambassador from Paris following French President Emmanuel Macron’s comments, which were reported by French and Algerian media.

The Algerian presidential statement said it had withdrawn its ambassador following media reports of the French leader’s comments, which were not denied.

french daily le monde The report said Macron had made critical remarks about the former French colony during a meeting on Thursday with descendants of independence figures.

Macron reportedly said the country was ruled by a “political-military system” and described Algeria as an “official history” that was “completely rewritten,” the newspaper reported.

He said that this history was “not based on truths” but on “discourses of hatred of France”. le monde Although he clarified that he was not referring to Algerian society, but to the ruling elite.

The Algerian presidential statement said: “Following comments that have not been rejected, which many French sources have attributed to the name (Macron), Algeria expresses its categorical disapproval of unacceptable interference in its internal affairs. “

Macron also spoke on current Algerian politics. His counterpart Abdelmajid Tebboune was “stuck in a system that is very difficult,” the French president was quoted as saying.

“You can see that the Algerian system is tired, it has been weakened by Hirak,” he said, referring to the pro-democracy movement.

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This is the second time that Algeria has recalled an ambassador from France.

Algiers also recalled its ambassador in May 2020 after French media aired a documentary about Hirak.

Saturday’s move comes amid tensions over France’s decision to sharply reduce the number of visas granted to citizens of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.

France said the decision, which it announced on Tuesday, was made necessary by the former colonies’ failure to do enough to allow illegal migrants to return.

The Algerian Foreign Ministry summoned French Ambassador Francois Gauet on Wednesday and handed him a “formal protest” note related to the visa decision.

It called the visa cuts an “unfortunate act” that “created confusion and ambiguity about its motivation and its scope.”

Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita called France’s move “unfair”.

Tunisian President Kais Saied expressed disappointment over the decision in a telephone call with Macron on Saturday, his office said, adding that the French leader had said it could be revised.

French government spokesman Gabriel Attal told Europe 1 radio on Tuesday that the decision to cut visas was “unprecedented”.

Paris chose that option, he said, because Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia “are refusing to take back citizens we don’t want or can’t keep in France.”

The radio said Macron had made the decision a month earlier after unsuccessful diplomatic efforts with three North African countries.

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