Algeria and France have resolved to mend strained relations, which hit a new low last year, but it remains to be seen if the steps taken by both countries could turn the page on the past, Anadolu News Agency reports.
Unresolved historical issues still maintain their influence on bilateral relations. France occupied Algeria for 132 years, before the latter won independence after seven years of struggle on 5 July, 1962.
France's decision to reduce the number of visas it grants to Algeria, along with President Emmanuel Macron's remarks questioning Algerian national identity before the French colonial era, brought ties almost to a breaking point last year.
In reaction, Algeria recalled its Ambassador to France last October, and also banned French military airplanes from its airspace. Several ministries also banned the French language from official correspondence.
But the Algerian Ambassador's return to his post in January, Macron's three-day official visit to the North African country in August, and French Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne's visit along with a delegation last month were interpreted as a sign of improvement in ties.
In August, the two nations decided to establish a joint committee to work on the colonial era archives, and signed a declaration for "renewed partnership," which includes political consultation on regional and international issues.
While these steps may lead to normalisation in relations, there are issues from the bitter past which await solutions.
The full retrieval of skulls of Algerian resistance fighters decapitated during France's colonial occupation, declassifying Algerian war archives, clarification on the fate of thousands of persons missing since the war of independence, and compensation for the victims of French nuclear tests in the Algerian desert between 1960 and 1966 are among the issues unresolved.
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