President Tebboune : Algeria, France must address memory question that jeopardizes bilateral relations

APS - 05 July 2020

ALGIERS- President of the Republic Abdelmadjid Tebboune on Saturday said that Algeria and France must address the question of memory which jeopardizes many aspects of the bilateral relations, insisting on peaceful relations between the two countries.

"With President Emmanuel Macron, we have, without any animosity, without hatred and in the mutual full respect from both sides, to address the memory problem that jeopardizes many aspects of the relations between the two countries," President Tebboune told French TV Channel France 24.

He recalled that "President Macron was courageous enough to say that colonization had been almost a crime against humanity, what others did not. Algeria has already received quasi-apology" from Eammnuel Macron," he added.

Speaking about the repatriation of the skulls of Algerian resistance fighters against colonial France, President Tebboune said that Macron was "very receptive of the Algerian request", stressing that "this repatriation was a necessity for Algeria which attaches great importance to the question of Memory". The Head of the State announced that an Algerian television channel, exclusively dedicated to memory, will be created and a National Day of Memory has been instituted.

For the president, we need now to "move towards" appeasement, since in France "we refer to the 'massacres' of 8 May 1945 in Algeria. This was prohibited before."

On a question of seeing Emmanuel Macron and France apologize to the Algerian people, Tebboune replied: "We hope for it because it will provide for an appeasement of the climate and make it more peaceful for "more serene" economic, political, cultural and neighborhood relations.

"With President Macron, we can achieve a lot, go a long way toward appeasement, settling issues pertaining to memorials and memory. He is a very honest person, he wants to appease the situation – of course, upholding French interests, and all the while, make it possible for our relations to become natural once again, natural relations between two independent countries," he said.

For President Tebboune, it is also about "relations between two independent and sovereign countries," observing however that "Algeria which was a former colony of France, 58 years ago, is now a state which influences its environment, a pivotal state whose word counts in the international concert."
The president of the Republic added that Algeria and France, "contacts have never been broken since 1962," stressing that "the two countries have had sometimes higher-level relationships.

Regarding a possible visit to Paris or that of President Macron in Algiers, the President of the Republic indicated that this is not excluded, stating that he has already discussed it with his French counterpart.
"If there is a visit, it would be a State visit, not a working visit under the circumstances imposed by the Covid-19," he added.