France and Algeria .. Did Macron bury the "historic" reconciliation file?

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Afrasianet - Algerian-French relations are experiencing great tensions, which analysts describe as "unprecedented", which have led to Algeria recalling its ambassador from Paris, for the second time, and banning French military aircraft from flying over the country.

This is after Algeria summoned its ambassador in Paris, Mohamed Antar Douad, for consultations, after statements attributed by French media to President Emmanuel Macron in which he addressed his Algerian counterpart, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, and his regime.

The recent Algerian positions are considered a "natural reaction" to Macron's words in which he criticized the country's regime. According to an article by the newspaper "Le Monde", the words attributed to Macron relate to a meeting held between the French president and young descendants of people who participated in Algeria's war of independence (1954-1962), in which he considered that Algeria, after its independence in 1962, built on a "legacy from the past" that he preserved.

Military political system. Macron spoke, according to the newspaper, of "an official history that has been completely rewritten (...) and is not based on facts" but rather on a "rhetoric based on hatred of France." He added: "It is clear that the Algerian regime is exhausted (..) the movement in 2019 weakened it," adding that "Taboun is stuck in a very difficult regime."

The Presidency of the Algerian Republic said that "against the false statements of several French sources attributed to the French president, Algeria categorically rejects any interference in its internal affairs, which is what was stated in these statements."

"The occurrence of tension and coldness in relations is normal when this type of crisis occurs, although it is unprecedented in the history of the two countries." Also, "the closure of the airspace to French aircraft is something that has not happened in the past, as Algeria has allowed French military aircraft to cross its airspace since 2013, and this escalation in itself is unprecedented."

It is noteworthy that this is the second time that Algeria summoned its ambassador to Paris this year. In May 2020, it recalled its ambassador, Salah Al-Badiwi, following the broadcast of a documentary film about the anti-regime movement in Algeria on France 5 and the parliamentary channel. In fact, “there are several common files linking the two sides, and therefore it is difficult to go beyond this limit.”

There are “very solid economic agreements, treaties on combating terrorism and tracking transnational crime, in addition to a joint role in some security and regional files.” France may be a strong country that Algeria needs in order to help it at the European level to solve its financial crises, in addition to the fact that there are economic and military ties that bring the country together that are difficult to abandon, unless there is dependence on another alternative country.”

The document linking it to Paris? Algerian-Russian relations are always distinguished, and they exist in isolation from France,” and perhaps “the Russian presence in the region gives Algeria a greater guarantee to protect it from terrorist and extremist groups.”

Reasons and motives On the reasons that prompted the French president to make these statements, Bonjar says that "Macron's words came within a meeting with the descendants of representatives of active parties in the Algerian war of independence, and with prominent activists, and he is intended to promote reconciliation between the French and Algerian peoples," adding that "this was It was clear from his speech to the audience.

In response to a young woman who grew up in the Algerian capital, Macron stressed in his meeting that he does not believe that there is "hatred" of France "in the depths of Algerian society, but rather in the military-political system that was based on this legacy from the past," according to AFP. As for Boukhalaf, he accused the French president of exploiting the position of Algeria for the presidential elections, saying: "The memory file that Macron uses to promote himself in the elections is based on the activists whom Algeria considers traitors."

Last September, Macron asked, on behalf of France, forgiveness from the "Algerian harkis", who fought in the ranks of the French army during the Algerian war, announcing the adoption of a compensation law soon. During a ceremony in honor of the Elysee Palace, in the presence of former activists and their families and officials of associations and personalities, Macron addressed his speech to the fighters by saying: "You have our gratitude, we will not forget.

I ask forgiveness, we will not forget," according to Agence France-Presse.

It seems that "Macron has been drawn to the rhetoric of the extreme right that is now emerging in the French political arena, and therefore wants to win the bet and the voters by entering into files, most notably immigration and the resulting reduction in visas, which called on Algeria to act."

In fact, "Macron aims to win the votes of French voters of Algerian origin, especially those descended from the resistance and the movement," considering that this category "constitutes an important electoral bloc." Also, "the Algerian regime, in turn, seeks to win over a large part of the street by strengthening the national feeling and popular support towards the government in its foreign positions, and this explains the limitation of the Algerian presidency's statement regarding Macron's statements."

Greed to stay in the French presidency destroys all Macron's rants French President Emmanuel Macron has brought Algerian-French relations back to the starting square with provocative statements, in a move that surprised observers, as it revealed the fragility of bilateral relations plagued by many poisoned files.

The French president, and on the day the Algerian Foreign Ministry announced the recall of the French ambassador to Algeria, François Goyet, to protest the halving of visas granted to Algerians, he made statements that are considered, in the perspective of diplomatic norms, a blatant interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign country, according to what the newspaper “Le Monde” reported. " French.

For the first time since he took over the Elysee Palace more than four years ago, Macron did not dare to describe the Algerian authorities with those terms that he used in his meeting with 18 young people of Algerian origin and descendants of “harki” and “black feet”, as part of his unofficial election campaign.

Expected presidential spring next year. In an unusual "exit", the French president used irresponsible expressions when he described the Algerian authorities as a "political-military regime", as well as further sowing discord among the components of decision-makers, by differentiating between the civilian and military component, a precedent that they may have Serious repercussions for future bilateral relations.

It was clear from the words of the French president, that his project called "pacifying the conflict of memory", which he entrusted to the French historian, Benjamin Stora, has not borne fruit so far, and he has bet on him since his election in 2017, because the Algerian side did not keep pace with the French steps that I remained unilaterally, in what seemed to be reservations about the project and what Stora had done in terms of memory, which is a very sensitive file for the Algerians.

What reinforces this reading, is the French president’s conviction that the memory file, or rather France’s military and moral defeat against Algeria in a devastating war, feeds a national uncompromising or negotiable prejudice, under any justification, especially when it comes to the former colony, which seeks With all my strength to withdraw this card from the Algerian side.

The most dangerous of all of this is the descent of the French president to an extreme level of deviation in the discussion, in a way that made him question even the existence of an Algerian nation before the French occupation in 1830, as if Algeria was a free land, when he asked: “Was there an Algerian nation before colonialism? French?

This is the question.” Macron did not stop there, but rather compared the French occupation with the Ottoman presence in Algeria, which is an inappropriate comparison, because the remnants of the French occupation speak for themselves (1.5 million Algerian martyrs in only seven years), while the history books did not list Algeria.

The world has the crimes of the Turkish presence in Algeria, which has its own rights and what it owes. The words of the French president in front of these young men also carry an acknowledgment of the failure of the French project to convince the Algerians to put the Ottoman presence in Algeria and the French occupation of it in one hand, when he said: “I am fascinated by Turkey’s ability to make people completely forget the role it played in Algeria and its hegemony.” practiced, and in return the French remain the only colonizers.

And it is something that Algerians believe,” Macron said with a sigh. Macron's statements towards the Algerian regime, along with the decision to reduce visas for Algerians, are viewed as a series of events intended to enter into a diplomatic confrontation with geo-strategic, security and economic depths, between the French and Algerian regimes. Manuel Macron's statements were met with great anger in Algeria.

After months of optimism about the progress of Algerian-French relations, which was revived by the opening of a direct presidential dialogue regarding the "memory issues" outstanding between the two countries for half a century, diplomatic efforts suddenly collapsed and returned to ground zero.

In reading the event, Abdel Salam Filali, professor of political sociology at Annaba University, believes that "the context of Macron's provocative statements about Algeria is explained by the upcoming presidential elections."

He considered it "an indication of lack of restraint and loss of patience, in front of the pressure of the French street, which evaluates the president's outcome negatively, in addition to the pressure of his potential rivals, especially the strange rise of Eric Zemmour in the opinion polls, which can be read by not being convinced of what happened during his years in power."

Filali adds that "there is a great French disappointment with Macron personally, I read and hear it in the comments of the French." For his part, the researcher and analyst in political sociology in France, Faysal Izdarin, stressed that "the Algerian-French relations are becoming increasingly fragile, contrary to what the officials of the two countries sing about, as it is sufficient for a statement to cause another rift between them, and to return the wheel of history to the era of the colonial tragedy."

Ezdaran believes that "summoning the Algerian ambassador to Paris for the purpose of consultation will not be an isolated event. What is known in political norms is that official side statements are like encrypted political messages." Macron's review of his vision for the Algerian regime and...

And accusing him, without naming them, of being radical and petrifying, is a blatant interference in Algeria's internal affairs, adding that "it is unforgivable, given that Algeria has always advocated against any interference in all international forums." Ezdarn believes that Macron exceeded his political responsibility to delve into history, not to answer unresolved questions, but rather to question the history of other nations with a European-centric view, when he questioned the existence of an Algerian nation before the French invasion.

He considered Macron's speech "a falsification of the facts, but rather a tribute to the positive achievements of colonial France in Algeria," stressing that he "reveals his doctrine, which does not differ much in his view of colonialism from that of the supporters of French Algeria, and this brings to mind Article 4 of the Law of Glorification of Colonialism of 2005." .

The spokesman explained Macron's blaming the Turkish presence in Algeria with French resentment of crowding out new partners for his presence in Algeria, North Africa and the Sahel countries.

He also linked the issue to the decision to reduce visas, to confirm that these series of events are intended to enter into a diplomatic confrontation with geo-strategic, security and economic depths of conflict and disagreement between the French and Algerian regimes. Will the matter end to this point? It is difficult to answer this question, as the colonial roots still play an important role in the orientations of those calling for human rights and other consuming slogans that reveal the true face of the West.


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