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Macron to Visit Algeria, Qatar

Macron to Visit Algeria, Qatar

Tuesday, 5 December, 2017 - 11:15
French President Emmanuel Macron. PHOTO: Reuters

French President Emmanuel Macron is likely to visit Algeria then Qatar in the coming two days.

Macron is expected to discuss several issues in Algeria to strengthen relations between the two countries while his visit to Qatar is aimed at discussing files related to terrorism, especially that Qatar is at odds with Gulf and Arab countries on the file of the terrorist-classified groups.

The French President’s visit to Algeria is considered his first since his election in 2016. French presidential sources described this visit as “business and friendship visit” and will be followed by a visit to another country.

The sources added that Macron wants to "emphasize the intensity of the bilateral relationship" and the desire to "fully open" to Algeria and keep pace with its efforts to diversify the economy.

The regional dimension will also be tackled in Macron’s talks with President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia, especially with regard to the security situation in Libya, Mali and other coast countries and the war on terror in general, as Paris wants "more cooperation and coordination" with the Algerian side.

Paris considers that Algeria has a special position not only at the bilateral level but also in relations with Africa, where it can play the role of a "bridge" between the two continents.

Despite the French assertions, the relationship between Paris and Algeria has always been very precise and the Franco-Moroccan relations overlap with it, forcing Paris to be able to balance between Rabat and Algeria.

France also wants to turn the page of the past, specifically the French colonialism of Algeria, which lasted 133 years and ended in the Algerian war of liberation.

Regarding Macron’s visit to Doha, which is scheduled for several hours, French sources said that it comes within the “political consultation,” especially that Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani visited Paris in September.

It is remarkable that Macron will visit the US military base and will meet with the French teams present, and this is the first time that Paris officially speaks about the presence of its troops at the base.

The two sides will also address the issue of terrorism, especially that Paris plans to invite Doha to an international conference on combating terrorism in the coming spring and sign a memorandum of understanding with Doha on this subject.

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