Ties with Algiers have turn out to be extra vital for Europe due to rising demand for gasoline amid the warfare in Ukraine.
President Emmanuel Macron mentioned 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.
“Now we have a fancy, painful widespread previous, and it has at occasions prevented us from wanting on the future,” Macron mentioned 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 will “open up new views for partnership and cooperation with France”.
He mentioned they mentioned how one can deliver stability to Libya, the Sahel area, and the disputed territory of Western Sahara.
French colonial rule in Algeria and the bitter independence warfare that ended it in 1962 have haunted relations between the 2 nations for many years.
Ties with Algiers have turn out to be extra vital for Paris due to the warfare in Ukraine rising the demand in Europe for North African gasoline, in addition to surging migration throughout the Mediterranean.
European nations need to Algeria — Africa’s largest gasoline 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 larger vitality 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 through the 1954-62 warfare that killed lots of of 1000’s of Algerians as a “crime in opposition to humanity”.
The declaration received him reputation in Algeria however was politically controversial in France, which is residence to greater than 4 million individuals of Algerian origin.
Nonetheless, he provoked a storm in Algeria final yr when he dominated out issuing an official apology and urged Algerian nationwide id didn’t exist earlier than French rule.
He additionally appeared to accuse Algeria’s ruling elite — which continues to be dominated by the technology that fought for independence — of rewriting the historical past of the independence battle 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 warfare, putting a wreath there. He mentioned the 2 governments would set up a joint committee of historians to check archives of the colonial period.
French historians say half one million civilians and combatants died throughout Algeria’s bloody warfare for independence, 400,000 of them Algerian. The Algerian authorities say 1.5 million have been killed.
Tebboune’s workplace mentioned in October greater than 5.6 million Algerians have been killed through 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.