Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

French President to Visit Algeria Next Month

French President to Visit Algeria Next Month

Wednesday, 15 November, 2017 - 13:00
rench President Emmanuel Macron REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/File Photo

French president Emmanuel Macron announced on Tuesday he will be visiting Algeria on December 06, the first visit since his election as president of France, without giving any further details.

Algeria Press Service (APS) reported a source at the foreign ministry as stating that the visit had been determined following “consultations between Algerian and French competent institutions."

Macron is expected to discuss the exceptional economic partnership between the two countries.

The French President announced the visit impromptu when a citizen in the town of Tourcoing, on the Belgian border, asked him about it.

Last Saturday, the governments of the two countries signed several economic cooperation agreements including an agreement between Peugeot maker PSA Group and three Algerian partners to build cars, as well as two other agreements to build factories for electrical and food supplies.

Following the agreement on the deals, Algerian Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel held a meeting with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian as part of what is known as “strategic dialogue between the two countries.”

The two officials discussed terrorism threats in the African coast, knowing that French military forces are fighting a war against extremist groups in the region, and Algeria is leading a reconciliation mediation between the government of Mali and the armed opposition.

Macron's visit is expected to increase trade exchanges between the two countries to over 8 billion euros, knowing that the value of French investments amounts to four million euros.

Last summer, the French President expressed his will to visit Algeria "as soon as possible" stating that the date is up to the Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to determine. However, a date was never determined due to Bouteflika's illness.

Observers believe that Algerians are looking forward to Macron's statement, especially those who described the French occupation of Algeria as a "crime against humanity."

During his presidential campaign and aiming to win votes of French people residing in Algeria, Macron described French actions during the colonization as "genuinely barbaric, and constitute a part of our past that we have to confront by apologizing".

In July, on the occasion of Bastille Day, Algerian President sent a telegraph to French President saying he is fully prepared to continue the support between the two countries and enhance the exceptional partnership that both Algeria and France decided to establish.

Bouteflika stated that the partnership will move both countries forward towards reconciled histories which revolve around developed friendship.

The Algerian President also lauded the dialogue between both countries, adding that: "today more than ever we should join our efforts to fight terrorism, the enemy of all civilizations and humanity in order to reach the stability that we aim for, especially in our MENA regions."

Editor Picks