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France calls on Algeria to respect its sovereignty, following statements by the Algerian ambassador 

October 21, 2021 at 3:12 pm

An Algerian holds an anti-France placard during a demonstration in the capital Algiers on April 16, 2021 [RYAD KRAMDI/AFP/Getty Images]

On Wednesday, Paris called on Algeria to “respect” French sovereignty, after the Algerian ambassador urged his community in France to “form a lever” to interfere in “French political life.”

“Europe and Foreign Minister last week recalled France’s deep respect for Algerian sovereignty. It goes without saying that we expect respect for our sovereignty from all our allies,” a statement from the French Foreign Ministry said.

Last Thursday, Algeria’s ambassador to Paris, Mohamed Antar Daoud, urged the Algerian community in France to invest in Algeria, and not only in France.

During a celebration to commemorate the 17 October, 1961 massacres, the ambassador said, “It is unacceptable that Algeria, which has the largest foreign community in France and 18 consulates, cannot take matters into its own hands in order to interfere not only in Algerian politics but also at the level of French politics.”

These stances stem from the tension in  France and Algeria’s relations, after previous statements by French President, Emmanuel Macron, reported by Le Monde newspaper, in which he considered that Algeria was built after its independence in 1962 on a “memory revenue” established by the “political-military regime.” He also questioned the existence of an Algerian nation before French colonialism.

According to the French newspaper, Macron talked about “an official history that has been completely rewritten, and is not based on facts” but rather on “a France-hatred discourse.” Macron also described Tebboune as “trapped in a very difficult regime.”

READ: Macron retracts his insulting statements to Algeria and seeks a truce

The spectrum of the Algerian war that the French state fought between 1954 and 1962 against the “Algerian National Liberation Front” still clouds the relations between the two countries.

With the approach of the anniversary of a number of important milestones, such as the signing of the Evian Accords on 18 March, 1962, Macron doubled his initiatives within the framework of an unprecedented course for France, aimed at calming the memory of this conflict, the repercussions of which still affect millions.

He commissioned the historian, Benjamin Stora, to make a report on the war and ways to reconcile the memory of the two countries. He officially acknowledged the assassination of the Algerian lawyer, Ali Bouminjel, by France in 1957 and returned the remains of Algerian resistance fighters from the nineteenth century, and asked for “pardon” from the Algerian Harkis, who helped the French army, for the way Paris treated them after the war.

On Saturday, Macron denounced “unjustifiable crimes for the republic,” following an official ceremony marking the 60th anniversary of the killing of Algerian demonstrators on 17 October 1961 in Paris.