France Algeria, the new search for a unique relationship

“Idealists, contrary to popular belief, are needy people. Let’s be idealistic and needy.” In front of the French and Franco-Algerian community in Algeria, Emmanuel Macron expressed his desire to build with consistency and determination “a new deal for the future” with Algeria.

France-Algeria: the challenges of creating a commission of historians

This Saturday, August 27, the last day of his “official and friendly” visit, he must sign a joint declaration with Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune. “for a new, concrete and ambitious partnership”indicates the Elysée.

A partnership ends “on the spur of the moment”

The content of this text should be the subject of negotiations and requires Emmanuel Macron to return to Algiers at noon to sign it instead of returning to France directly from Oran where he should end his trip after meetings with the actors in culture and sport.

“This is a good sign”, Emmanuel Macron was happy. These long discussions were able to lead “in the heat of the moment”. They focused both on the “existential, strategic and security” issues – which remain confidential – in the presence of the Chief of the Defense Staff and the Minister for the Armed Forces, key figures of the Algerian regime, but also on the important question of visas. .

8,000 more students in Algeria this year

The president wants to believe that this time the stuttering of the story will stop and there will be a happy ending. Because many steps to rebuild relations between France and Algeria have failed. The Algiers Declaration signed in 2003 by Jacques Chirac aims to establish a unique partnership with Algeria. That of François Hollande, in 2012, aims to seal a partnership of equals. After the friendship treaty project ended in 2005 and was permanently buried under Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007.

This new partnership will be based on youth, the diaspora and innovation by promoting the “selective and positive movement” of students, entrepreneurs, politicians, researchers, cultural actors, sportsmen, while strengthening the fight against illegal immigration. The president thus promised to welcome 8,000 more students this year, to be added to the 30,000 already in France.

At Saint Eugene Cemetery

The basis of these new relations, this desire, which seems common, to face the past, by creating a mixed commission of historians to fulfill the. “an act of truth and recognition”.

“Every time we leave behind the wounds of history, we resist the return of the oppressed. History cannot be based on lies, omissions, stories that we want to contradict one another, otherwise we are building the impossibility of a Franco-Algerian friendship. Estimated by Emmanuel Macron, early in the morning, leaving the Christian cemetery of Saint Eugène in Algiers. In this place full of history, in the middle of pines and cypresses, in the songs of cicadas, the president laid a wreath in front of the monument of “died for France”. The absence of the Chief Rabbi of France Haïm Korsia and the rector of the Grand Mosque of Paris, Chems-Eddine Hafiz felt difficult at this time.

Then he wandered among the Catholic graves, those of the Zouaves Zouaves who died for France in 1906, gathered in the military square and the Jewish square and struck a pose in front of the grave of the actor Roger Hanin.

“If only the arrival of President Macron could improve relations” wants to believe a retired French teacher, who has lived in Algiers since 1963 with her Algerian husband. “We are living in a very difficult time, with an authoritarian regime, a lot of repression and a very widespread anti-French anger,” he was sad, while remaining optimistic. “Every family here has relatives in France, none of them escaped visa refusal, including visiting their relatives at the end of life. Many people have experienced these tragedies, these visa restrictions are devastating , they feed on hatred”.

The president arrived Friday night in Oran, a city known for its openness in the west of the country, for the second part of his trip. He dined with the writer Kamel Daoud and other personalities in Oran. In the morning, he will go to the port and then to the sanctuary of Santa Cruz in the heights of Oran, which offers a bird’s eye view of the bay of the second city of Algeria and hosts the beatification of 19 Algerian martyrs. on December 8, 2018.

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