n Thursday, May 9, the French Embassy in Algeria denied the statements attributed by the official agency APS to the French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian.
“The Embassy of France in Algeria has taken note of and is surprised by the dispatch published by the APS on Wednesday, May 8, under the title “France wishes the Algerian presidential elections to take place under “good conditions””, which would suggest that the statements of the Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian, would be new”, wrote the French Embassy in a statement of which Echorouk received a copy.
“This is actually an answer dated 6 March 2019, during a question and answer session to the Government in the French National Assembly. These statements cannot therefore be presented as the French position as of May 9, 2019,” the press release added.
The news cable sparked off a wide debate on social networking platforms, especially on the Facebook network, and activists were circulating that the French-backed elections should not be held. In addition, France, it is purported, stands against the peaceful popular movement that rejects these elections.
In a video posted on the website of the French National Assembly and in the oral questions session on 6 March, the French Foreign Minister responded to a question by Algerian MP Belkheir Belhadad about the situation prevailing in Algeria. Le Drian then replied that France hoped that the 18 April elections would take place in an atmosphere of transparency and freedom.
“France thus hopes that the presidential elections scheduled for July 4 will be held in Algeria in good conditions, with the necessary transparency and serenity,” it said.
“It is a necessary moment for the history of Algeria. The country has the necessary momentum to meet the challenges it faces and to respond to the deep aspirations of its people.”