French FM in Algeria to mend ties after diplomatic row

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune met visiting French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian here, where they discussed measures to improve strained bilateral relations as well as other issues of mutual concern, state-run television channel ENTV reported.

In a press conference following his meeting with the President, Le Drian said he had expressed his wish to President Tebboune and his Algerian counterpart Ramtane Lamamra, whom he had met earlier, to cooperate on removing the hurdles and misunderstandings that may exist between the two countries, reports Xinhua news agency.

The two sides agreed to resume talks in a variety of fields, including immigration, visas, and counter-terrorism cooperation, the report said.

In an unstable regional and international environment, France and Algeria face common challenges, including the terrorism threats in the Sahel region, illegal migration, and economic development challenges, Le Drian noted.

The French minister said he hoped the resumption of bilateral talks will pave the way for political exchanges between the two countries in 2022.

They also discussed issues concerning Libya and Mali.

Le Drian said France would continue to cooperate with Algeria to help Libya’s political transition, while praising Algeria’s key role and commitment to the establishment of the peace and reconciliation agreement in Mali.

The Minister’s working visit aims to “assess and re-launch bilateral relations”, the French Foreign Ministry said in a statement earlier in the day.

The visit comes as relations between Algeria and France have become strained in recent months.

In October, Algeria recalled its ambassador to France and closed its airspace to French military planes, as a response to a French decision in September reducing the number of visas provided to Algerian officials by 50 per cent as well as remarks of French President Emmanuel Macron in which he criticized Algeria.

In a statement to local media in mid-October, Tebboune affirmed that the return of the Algerian Ambassador to France is conditional on total respect of France for Algeria.




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