On Saturday, Algeria announced that it had recalled its ambassador to France, Mohamed Antar Daoud, “for consultations.” In a statement made by the Algerian Presidency, Algiers justified its action by its “rejection of any interference in its internal affairs,” adding that it made its decision following “statements attributed” to French President Emmanuel Macron.
“Following the unchallenged comments that several French sources have attributed by name to the President of the French Republic, Algeria expresses its categorical rejection of the inadmissible interference in its internal affairs that these comments constitute,” the statement by the Algerian presidency expressed.
In its press release, Algiers further estimated that Macron’s words “are an intolerable attack on the memory of the 5.63 million valiant martyrs who sacrificed their lives in their heroic resistance to the French colonial invasion as well as in the glorious national liberation revolution.”
“This unfortunate intervention fundamentally clashes with the principles that should govern a possible Algerian-French cooperation in terms of memory,” the Algerian Presidency said, which sees in it “the promotion of an apologetic version of colonialism,” estimating that “nothing and nobody can absolve the colonial powers of their crimes, including the massacres of October 17 in Paris, which Algeria and its community established in France are preparing to commemorate with dignity.”
Relations between Paris and Algiers were already strained before the recent event. On Wednesday, the French Ambassador to Algiers, François Gouyette, was summoned to the Algerian Foreign Ministry to be notified of “a formal government protest” after Paris’ decision to halve the visas granted to Algerians.
On Tuesday, France announced a sharp decrease in the number of visas granted to nationals of Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia, citing a “refusal” by these Maghreb countries to issue the consular passes necessary for the return of returned immigrants from France.
This is the second time that Algiers has summoned its ambassador to Paris since May 2020. Previously, the Algerian ambassador to Paris, Salah Lebdioui, was the subject of an “immediate” recall after the broadcast of a documentary on the Hirak movement, broadcast on France 5 and La Chaîne Parlementaire.