It seems that the Algerian-French relationships are moving quickly towards recovering from the accumulations of a year and more of escalation, and the phone call that took place last Thursday between the Algerian Presidents Abdelmadjid Tebboune and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron confirmed this belief.
The Algerian presidency said in a statement, that President Tebboune had a phone conversation with Macron on several “issues of common concern, especially the situation in Libya and the Sahel region”.
This call is the third between the two presidents in less than six weeks, and it falls within the framework of a rapprochement which features are more and more marked between the two countries. The first of these calls was the one that took place on June,2, and marked the return of the Algerian ambassador to Paris, Salah Labdioui to his post after being summoned by the Foreign Ministry, in protest against the blatant French provocations.
The two presidents reviewed, according to the statement, “several issues that included in the bilateral agenda, especially those related to memory, and in particular the recovery of the skulls of 24 martyrs from the popular resistance on July,3, and those that will be retrieved later, and the need to work to reconcile the memories of the peoples of the two countries.”
“The two presidents agreed to continue coordination and consultation between the two countries as the main actors in the region and to launch several initiatives which aimed at promoting political solutions to the prevailing crises there, while what appeared to be a reference to the Libyan crisis, in which the two countries have been engaging in remarkably since its inception”.
The phone call came about a week after Algeria received the skulls of 24 martyrs of the resistance who were killed during the French colonialism, a step that is expected to be followed by another one, according to what was announced by the Algerian party, during the activities celebrating the reception of the first batch of skulls.
It is clear from the presidential statement, that the two countries are currently concerned with the issue of liquidating the legacy of the colonial past, which was and still causes poisoning of bilateral relationships for decades, in addition to the situation in Libya and the Sahel region.
On the first issue, President Tebboune described the delivery of the skulls as a step that could be described as “half an apology” from France for its colonial past, in the interview with “France 24” channel, and insisted that Algeria is still waiting for an apology from the former colonial power, while he praised Macron and described him as the “honest” man who can continue the lull arrangement between the two countries.
Observers considered that Tabboune’s praise of the French President indicates that Macron is committed to resolving this issue of the colonial past, in which all the presidents who preceded him to the Elysee Palace failed, and the employment of the phrase “reconciling the memories of the peoples of the two countries” might flow in that direction.
It seems that the rapprochement has also occurred on the other issue, which is the Libyan crisis, and the phone call between the two presidents is following the announcement by the Foreign Minister, Sabri Bougadoum, of a draft symposium on Libya, which is being prepared.
Paris is experiencing a real dilemma, due to the failure of its options in Libya, as it initially provided great support to the retired general Khalifa Haftar, at the expense of the internationally recognized government in Libya, but this option fell into the water after Haftar’s forces reclaimed at the gates of Tripoli, and today it is trying to save its position and wants to coordinate with Algeria, to preserve its remaining interests there.