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Algeria Army Chief visits France for 1st time in 17 years

January 23, 2023 at 1:46 pm

French President Emmanuel Macron (R) meets with Algerian army chief of staff, General Said Chengriha at Algiers airport, in Algiers,[LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP via Getty Images]

Algerian Army Chief, Gen. Said Chengriha, will pay an official visit to France on Monday for the first time in 17 years, according to the Defence Ministry, Anadolu News Agency reports.

According to a Ministry statement, Chengriha has accepted an invitation from his French counterpart, Thierry Burkhard.

The visit aims to strengthen cooperation between the Algerian and French armies and discuss issues of mutual interest, the statement said, without giving further details on the duration of the visit.

READ: Algeria’s War of Independence from France

According to French media, the Army Chief’s visit is in preparation for a visit to France by President Abdelmadjid Tebboune scheduled for May.

Tebboune’s visit will be the first of its kind since he came to power in December 2019.

Tebboune’s reign has been marked by tensions in Franco-Algerian relations due, in part, to the colonial period from 1830 to 1962 and immigration.

French President Emmanuel Macron visited Algeria last August to ease tensions in relations with Algeria. The visit culminated in a joint statement on a series of agreements related to the past of French colonialism in Algeria, security, defence, foreign policy and economic cooperation.

READ: Algeria, France take steps towards normalisation in shadow of colonial past