The Algerian President’s state visit to France is again postponed in all likelihood. This trip, initially planned for May and then June, should finally take place only at the end of the summer, or even in the fall unless another serious cold snap in this season when flu epidemics are frequent, do not postpone it once again.
Must also say that every fortnight, a new story resounds from one side of the Mediterranean to the other. Indeed after adjourning the visit presidential initial in France in May, Algiers had postponed it to June and then suddenly and according to THE information from a French radio, the third visit of an Algerian Head of State to France… in sixty years, has again been postponed indefinitely. Tebboune was due to land in Paris normally in the second half of June, but his visit mysteriously summer (again) postponed for a few weeks, the media understands.
Three visits in sixty-one years of independence one can only wonder about such paucity. Conversely, all the French presidents of the Fifth Republic visited Algeria at least once. The very first visit by an Algerian Head of State dates back to November 1983 when Chadli Bendjedid understood that Franco-Algerian relations had escaped grudges. The last was that of Abdelaziz Bouteflika in June 2000. In vain also because since then, the grudges have still not been silenced.
Everything indicates that after the hope that had prevailed when France and Algeria had supposedly officially turned the page of a diplomatic crisis (the time of a telephone conversation between the two presidents for the Bourraoui affair), the senile regime of Algiers, moves away from France, in what resembles a continental drift. It is that the list of disputes between the two countries is a little too long to settle. Indeed, and although Franco-Algerian relations have officially calmed down compared to the past, tensions still remain.
Algiers continues to see repeated attacks from across the Mediterranean. For example, through the recently published book, the former French ambassador to Algiers, Xavier Driencourt, denounces the Franco-Algerian treaty of 1968 which defines the conditions for the reception and stay of Algerians in France. This Monday, the interview in “L’Express” of the former Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe, where he considers this bilateral agreement lax and outdated, made relations between the two countries tense a little more.
That said, Emmanuel Macron and his Algerian counterpart are unable to agree on a date for the visit. The pretext is a busy agenda on both sides, the first highlights the context of the conflict in Ukraine and the second would have this famous imperative of presence in Algiers for the commemorations of Algerian independence. Also while keeping the hope of a “State visit” to Paris, it is rumored that it should take place at the start of the school year or even next fall unless new diplomatic quarrels come to curb the semblance of ardor on both sides.
It is because the Algiers regime still reproaches France for mistreating its many nationals. The 2021 visa crisis led to the recall of the Algerian ambassador to France for months. The capos of Algiers reproach France for its past military interventions in Africa, considered untimely, and its links with Morocco and Israel. In addition to the historical litigation brandished by the Algerian State – although it indifferent to the Algerians of Algeria – the regime denounces alleged French interference on the Algerian political scene.
But there are still other contentious subjects which are not likely to find a way out and constitute the major sensitive points of the relationship between Paris and Algiers. The question of the memory of the colonization of Algeria by France in the 19th century and of the Algerian war (1954-1962), at the heart of the rest, of several disputes in recent years, is one of them. The two countries are certainly increasing their efforts to rebuild a more peaceful relationship, but many hitches still persist.