Ties with Algiers have turn into extra vital for Europe due to growing demand for fuel amid the conflict in Ukraine.
President Emmanuel Macron stated France and Algeria ought to transfer past their “painful” shared historical past and look to the long run as he started a three-day go to to the previous colony.
“We have now a fancy, painful frequent previous, and it has at occasions prevented us from wanting on the future,” Macron stated after assembly Algerian counterpart President Abdelmadjid Tebboune on Thursday.
Talking at a press convention, Tebboune responded by saying the go to yielded “encouraging outcomes” and he hoped it might “open up new views for partnership and cooperation with France”.
He stated they mentioned find out how to convey stability to Libya, the Sahel area, and the disputed territory of Western Sahara.
French colonial rule in Algeria and the bitter independence conflict that ended it in 1962 have haunted relations between the 2 nations for many years.
Ties with Algiers have turn into extra vital for Paris due to the conflict in Ukraine growing the demand in Europe for North African fuel, in addition to surging migration throughout the Mediterranean.
European nations wish to Algeria — Africa’s greatest fuel exporter with direct pipelines to Spain and Italy — to finish their dependence on Russian hydrocarbons.
In the meantime, Algiers is searching for to capitalise on greater power costs to lock in European funding.
Macron has tried a number of occasions to show the web page with its former colony. In 2017, earlier than his election, he described French actions in the course of the 1954-62 conflict that killed a whole lot of 1000’s of Algerians as a “crime towards humanity”.
The declaration received him reputation in Algeria however was politically controversial in France, which is house to greater than 4 million individuals of Algerian origin.
Nonetheless, he provoked a storm in Algeria final 12 months when he dominated out issuing an official apology and recommended Algerian nationwide id didn’t exist earlier than French rule.
He additionally appeared to accuse Algeria’s ruling elite — which remains to be dominated by the era that fought for independence — of rewriting the historical past of the independence wrestle based mostly on a hatred of France.
Algeria withdrew its ambassador for consultations and closed its airspace to French planes, complicating the French navy mission within the Sahel.
Earlier than assembly with Tebboune, Macron visited a monument to Algerians killed within the conflict, inserting a wreath there. He stated the 2 governments would set up a joint committee of historians to check archives of the colonial period.
French historians say half 1,000,000 civilians and combatants died throughout Algeria’s bloody conflict for independence, 400,000 of them Algerian. The Algerian authorities say 1.5 million had been killed.
Tebboune’s workplace stated in October greater than 5.6 million Algerians had been killed in the course of the colonial interval.
Algerian human rights teams have urged Macron to not overlook abuses by the federal government that got here to energy after longtime chief Abdelaziz Bouteflika stepped down in 2019.