French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, paid a surprise visit to Algeria on Wednesday, where he was greeted by his counterpart, Ramtane Lamamra.
Le Drian stated that “I had the honor of meeting the Algerian president, and it was important for me to come to Algeria on a working visit. He added that his visit aims to enhance confidence between our two countries under the full sovereignty of each country.”
He said, “I conveyed to the Algerian president my country’s desire to work to melt the ice and the misunderstanding between our two countries.”
He continued, “During our conversation, we focused on cooperation, which is translated by the launch of a real dialogue between us as partners in files related to the security of the two countries.”
Furthermore, he added, “We hope that the dialogue that we started today will contribute to the return of political relations between the two countries’ governments at the beginning of the new year, away from the differences of the past.”
In turn, the official Algerian television reported that President Tebboune received Le Drian, “who is on a working visit to Algeria,” in the presence of Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra.
Since last September, relations between Algeria and France have witnessed a severe crisis after Paris reduced the quota of visas granted to Algerians, under the pretext of Algeria’s lack of cooperation in returning its irregular immigrants.
Algeria responded by summoning its ambassador to Paris to protest against the French decision, which it described as “undermining bilateral efforts to address irregular immigration.”
In early October, relations deteriorated further after statements by French President Emmanuel Macron, in which he challenged the existence of an Algerian nation before French colonialism, asking: “Was there an Algerian nation before French colonialism?”
Algeria responded by recalling its ambassador in Paris “for consultations,” and it prevented the flights of French warplanes participating in military operations in the African Sahel region.