Algeria Turns Down Messages Of Appeasement Hailing From Paris
The messages of appeasement sent by French President Emmanuel Macron did not find the hoped-for response from the Algerian authorities, which seem to have decided to go far in their anger with Paris, in reply to the French president’s unacceptable provocations.
In confirmation of what was stated in his interview with the German magazine “Der Spiegel” about a week ago, President Abdelmadjid Tebboune refused to respond by phone to his French counterpart, and this information was reported by the French newspaper “L’Opinion” yesterday.
The newspaper said that the French president tried to contact his Algerian counterpart in order to persuade him to participate in the Paris conference on Libya expected this Friday, but he did not receive a response from President Tebboune, knowing that before that call, Paris had sent a message in this regard to the Algerian authorities through diplomatic channels.
President Tebboune had previously confirmed in an interview with the German magazine “Der Spiegel” that he would not respond to the French president, if he called him by phone, in a situation in which the head of state expressed strong anger at his French counterpart, who questioned the existence of an Algerian nation before the brutal French occupation, in front of a group of young people of Algerian origin, according to what was reported by the French newspaper “Le Monde”.
And on Tuesday, the French presidency announced in a statement that Macron expressed his regret for what it described as “the misunderstanding” with Algeria, and stressed that the custodian of the Elysee Palace had “the greatest respect for the Algerian nation and its history,” in what appeared to be an attempt to correct what he had lamely done in this regard.
In the same context, Agence France-Presse (AFP) quoted an adviser during a press conference devoted to the upcoming conference on Libya as saying: “The President of the Republic regrets the controversy and misunderstanding resulting from the statements made by him (Macron),” and stressed the need to “stick to the development of relations” between France and Algeria, according to the official in the French presidency.
The advisor at the Elysee Palace added that “President Macron has the greatest respect for the Algerian nation, its history and Algeria’s sovereignty,” and that he is keen to re-normalize bilateral relations for “the interest of the Algerian and French peoples, but also to face up to major regional challenges, starting with Libya, on the grounds that Algeria is a key player in the region”.
President Tebboune had previously confirmed that he would not take the “first step” in reducing tension between Algeria and Paris, blaming his French counterpart for the aggravation of bilateral relations for the sake of electoral calculations, knowing that Macron is running a frantic race to win a second term in the upcoming French presidential elections in spring next year, he was accused of fueling an old conflict that he should have averted, according to the German magazine Der Spiegel.
The position of the Algerian presidency, which rejects the French pacification efforts, confirms that the return of relations between Algeria and Paris to normal has become far-fetched, at least for the time being, in light of this persistent dissonance.
Algeria had summoned its ambassador, Mohamed Antar Daoud, from Paris, and approved a decision to prevent the passage of French warplanes over Algerian airspace, at a time when the French army was conducting military operations in the Sahel region, which raised the duration of the relevant flight from four to nine hours.