President Emmanuel Macron spoke by phone on Saturday with his Algerian counterpart for the first time since his inflammatory remarks sparked a political crisis four months ago.
Macron and Abdelmadjid Tebboune welcomed and agreed to continue the “positive dynamic of the bilateral relationship”, particularly in the security and economic fields, according to a press release from the French presidency.
The French president also extended an invitation to the next Euro-African summit in Brussels on February 17-18 and addressed regional security and counter-terrorism issues in the Sahel region, the statement added.
The exchange also referred to Macron’s initiative for “appeasement of the memories of colonization and the Algerian war” in terms of research on the missing and maintenance of European cemeteries in Algeria.
Relations between Paris and Algiers have been strained since the former French colony gained independence after the end of a bloody war in 1962.
Macron, who has taken several steps — even acknowledging torture and abuse against freedom fighters — to mend the strained relationship, slipped down the dangerous slope in September when he blamed his dispensation in power for rewriting his historic past. to foment anti-French hatred. and question the existence of an Algerian nation before French colonial rule.
Tebboune had said he would not take the first step to ease tensions and had even turned down an invitation to attend a high-level international conference in Paris regarding Libya.
The thaw in relations came after Macron expressed regret for his remarks and Foreign Minister Jean Yves Le Drian met the head of state in Algiers in December.