France’s former ambassador to Algeria, Bernard Bajolet, revealed that when he was appointed ambassador to Algeria, the former French President, Jacques Chirac, insisted that he should not speak Arabic with Algerian officials.
Bajolet wrote in his book tilted “The sun will not shine in the east”, quoting the former French president, Jacques Chirac, as saying: “Did you really hear me, you like Arabic and I do not feel that Algerian officials like speaking with this language, and this will make them uncomfortable.”
Bajolet explained that he did not respect Jacques Chirac’s instructions in this regard, and asserted that he spoke in Arabic at one of the French celebrations; “I have delivered many speeches in Arabic, including that of the French National Day.”
He asserted in his book; “This does not mean that the Algerians do not understand French, but on the contrary, most officials are quite proficient. But addressing them in classical Arabic was a way of showing how much respect I had for their culture, which France despised during 132 years of colonialism.”