French foreign minister visits Algeria to ‘relaunch’ relations

French-Algerian tensions escalated over Macron’s remarks on North African nation’s colonial past.

French foreign minister visits Algeria to ‘relaunch’ relations

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian arrived in Algeria on Wednesday, amid a row over comments by French President Emmanuel Macron.

Le Drian will meet with Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune and his Algerian counterpart Ramtane Lamamra during the visit, the French Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said the visit aims to “evaluate and relaunch French-Algerian relations."

Tensions have escalated between France and Algeria since late September over remarks made by Macron about the North African country’s colonial past.

In a bid to palliate its atrocious colonial past, Macron claimed that “there was a colonization before the French colonial rule” in Algeria, alluding to the Ottoman presence in the country between 1514 and 1830. Macron’s remarks have sparked a storm of condemnations in Algeria.

Algeria responded by recalling its ambassador from France and banning French military aircraft from using Algerian airspace.

Hüseyin Demir

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