France/Algeria: first contact between the Ministers of Foreign Affairs

The new head of French diplomacy spoke with her Algerian counterpart on Monday, the first contact since she recently took office as the two countries try to emerge from several months of diplomatic coldness.

Catherine Colonna and Ramtane Lamamra “affirmed their desire to continue the positive dynamics in the bilateral relationship between France and Algeria,” the Quai d’Orsay said in a press release on Monday night. “First fruitful exchange with my colleague @MinColonna on the prospects for a balanced and mutually beneficial partnership between our two countries and enhanced dialogue in the service of regional and international stability and prosperity,” Mr. Lamamra. .

France and Algeria are trying to give new impetus to their relations after a serious diplomatic crisis. Algiers had called its ambassador in Paris in October in reaction to President Macron’s statements stating that Algeria, after its independence in 1962 that ended 132 years of French colonization, had been built on “a commemorative rent”, maintained by “the political-military system”.
The ambassador returned to France on January 6.

In addition to the always sensitive handling of the colonial past, the bilateral archives are innumerable. The ministers “discussed the latest advances in Algerian-Spanish relations”, indicated the Quai, who underlined their “deep attachment to the good relations between our European partners and our neighbors on the southern shore of the Mediterranean”. Last Wednesday, Algeria suspended a “treaty of friendship, good neighborliness and cooperation” with Spain, after a setback by Madrid on Western Sahara that led it to support Morocco’s position, much to the chagrin of Algiers, the main supporter of Saharawi independence from the Polisario Front.

The two ministers also addressed the crises “in Mali and Libya.” The French anti-jihadist force Barkhane, deployed in the Sahel, is closing its northernmost advanced military bases in Mali, in a context of extreme tensions between Paris and Bamako. Algeria, for its part, presents itself as a key actor in the return to regional stability, based in particular on the so-called Algiers agreements, signed in 2015 between the government and the former non-jihadist rebellion, and which have never been has actually been applied.

The new head of French diplomacy spoke with her Algerian counterpart on Monday, the first contact since she recently took office as the two countries try to emerge from several months of diplomatic coldness.
Catherine Colonna and Ramtane Lamamra “affirmed their desire to continue the positive dynamics in the bilateral relationship between France and Algeria”,…

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