As a former French colony, Algeria has been independent since 1962. Under French rule for 132 years, Algeria liberated itself through a brutal eight-year war. With this shared history, it’s no wonder that their relationship has been somewhat … rough. But, diplomatic relations between the two have become especially important as Europe seeks oil from northern Africa as it tries to cut its energy reliance on Russia. Plus, there’s a boom in migration across the Mediterranean that requires attention.
Last week, French President Emmanuel Macron visited Algeria. During this trip, Macron and Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune worked on fixing their countries’ relations. They made agreements on energy, security and amending their collective history. Algeria and France will work on gas and hydrogen development and medical research, and they’ll create a joint commission to examine archives from when Algeria was a major piece of France’s empire. Though most specifics haven’t been released, France still officially apologized for its colonial activities.
“We have a complex, painful common past, and it has at times prevented us from looking at the future,” Macron said after meeting Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune on Thursday.
“[This was an] excellent, successful visit … which allowed for a rapprochement which would not have been possible without the personality of President Macron himself,” Tebboune told Macron in French.
“There is no political will among the French authorities, whether on the right or on the left, to look the colonial past in the face,” said Abdelmalek Alouane, professor at Sciences Po university in Algiers.