3/10/2021–|Last update: 3/10/202106:04 PM (Mecca)
The Algerian presidency denounced statements attributed to French President Emmanuel Macron, and said that it had decided to recall its ambassador to France for consultations due to this “interference in its internal affairs.”
In parallel with the withdrawal of the Algerian ambassador from Paris, sources told Al Jazeera that Algeria also decided to prevent French military aircraft that carry out missions in the countries of the African Sahel from flying in its airspace.
On the other hand, the French army said that Algeria’s decision will not affect its operations in the African Sahel region.
And the Algerian presidency had said – in a statement published on Saturday evening – that “against the false statements of several French sources attributed to the French president, Algeria categorically rejects any interference in its internal affairs as stated in those statements.”
“Faced with these irresponsible statements, the President of the Republic, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, decided to immediately summon Algeria’s ambassador to France, Mohamed Antar Daoud, for consultations,” the statement added.
According to the statement carried by state television, Macron’s statements represent “an unacceptable insult to the memory of the 5 million and 630 thousand martyrs who sacrificed themselves through a brave resistance against French colonialism” between 1830 and 1962.
He added, “France’s countless colonial crimes are genocide against the Algerian people, and they are not recognized (by France) and cannot be the subject of abusive maneuvers.”
And the French newspaper Le Monde had reported statements that Macron had made while receiving, on Thursday, the grandchildren of a number of personalities who had a role in Algeria’s war of independence.
Macron spoke – according to the newspaper – about an “official history” of Algeria, “completely rewritten”, “and it is not based on facts” but on “a discourse based on hatred of France.”
Macron challenged the existence of an Algerian nation before the French colonization of the country in 1830, and asked, denouncing, “Was there an Algerian nation before French colonization?”
He believed that Algeria was under another colonization before the French colonization, in reference to the Ottoman era between 1514 and 1830.
“I am fascinated to see Turkey’s ability to make people completely forget the role it played in Algeria and the hegemony it exercised and to say that the French are the only colonialists, which the Algerians believe,” he said.
This is the second time that Algeria has summoned its ambassador to Paris since May 2020, when it summoned its ambassador, Salah Al-Badiwi, immediately after broadcasting a documentary on the popular movement in Algeria on France 5 and the parliamentary channel.
In his statements on Thursday, Macron touched on his country’s decision to reduce the number of visas granted to citizens of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, and said that it targets officials, not students or the business community.
He added that the goal was to “disturb those in power” for their refusal to receive irregular migrants whom France wants to deport, he said.
On Tuesday, Paris announced a reduction in the number of visas granted to citizens of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, justifying its move by “refusing” the three Maghreb countries to issue consular permits to return immigrants whom France wants to deport from its territory.
As a result, the Algerian Foreign Ministry summoned the French ambassador to inform him of the authorities’ objection to reducing the number of visas granted to Algerians annually by half.