France-Algeria: Mr. Tebboune judges “very serious” the words of Mr. Macron on the Algerian nation

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune ruled “Very serious”, in an interview with Spiegel published Friday, November 5, the remarks made by Emmanuel Macron questioning the existence of the Algerian nation before French colonization. “We do not touch the history of a people, we do not humiliate the Algerians”, said Mr. Tebboune, referring to the question formulated by the French Head of State – “Was there an Algerian nation before French colonization? “- during an exchange on September 30 at the Elysee Palace with young people from memory groups linked to the Algerian war.

This cold snap is the most serious for fifteen years between the two countries

The words of Mr. Macron reported by The world had triggered an open crisis between France and Algeria, which had immediately recalled for consultation its ambassador stationed in Paris and prohibited the overflight of Algerian airspace by French planes as part of operation “Barkhane” in Sahel. This cold snap, the most serious in fifteen years between the two countries, was preceded by a series of disputes around the issue of visas, the memory of the Algerian war, economic contracts and ‘a French policy on Western Sahara, judged by Algiers as too pro-Moroccan.

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Mr. Tebboune’s interview at Spiegel, produced on October 26 in Algiers, reveals to what extent Mr. Macron’s remarks will leave lasting traces in relations between the two countries and jeopardize a resumption of short-term contacts. “I am not going to be the first to take the step, otherwise I will lose all the Algerians”, assured the Algerian president to the German weekly. ” It is a national problem, it is not a problem of the President of the Republic, he added. No Algerian would accept that I resume contact with those who formulated these insults. “ “Mr. Macron has hurt the dignity of Algerians, he noted. We were not a people of subhumans, we were not nomadic tribes before the French came. ” While the Spiegel asked him if there was a possibility that the bilateral crisis could take “End soon”, the Algerian head of state replied: « Non. »

“For electoral reasons”

Mr. Tebboune considered that the words of his French counterpart make “Part of the old colonial hatred”, even though he admitted that “Mr. Macron is far from colonial hatred”. “Why did he say it then?” “, he asked, before answering himself: “He said it for electoral reasons. “ “He used the same speech held by journalist and author Eric Zemmour for a long time”, namely that “Algeria was not a nation and that it was France which made it a nation”. “Unfortunately, Mr. Macron sided with those who justify colonization by saying this. “

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France-Algeria: Mr. Tebboune judges “very serious” the words of Mr. Macron on the Algerian nation