Algeria: the conditions of President Tebboune's visit to France "not suitable"

The state visit of the Algerian President, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, to France is "still the subject of preparations", affirmed the Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, specifying that it depends on the settlement of five files

Algeria: the conditions of President Tebboune's visit to France "not suitable"

The state visit of the Algerian President, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, to France is "still the subject of preparations", affirmed the Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, specifying that it depends on the settlement of five files.

“In all sincerity, the conditions of this visit are not suitable,” declared Ahmed Attaf in an interview given on Wednesday evening, December 28, to Atheer, the platform of the Qatari channel Al-Jazeera. Mr. Attaf listed the files relating to memory, mobility, economic cooperation, French nuclear tests in the Algerian Sahara, as well as the restitution, of symbolic importance, of the sword and the burnous of Emir Abdelkader.

Even though "the president had to go to the Château d'Amboise, where the Emir Abdelkader was imprisoned (...), the French authorities refused [to return the Emir's sword and burnous], arguing the need to 'a law,' the minister said.

“We continue to work.”

Concerning the French nuclear tests, Mr. Attaf said Algeria was demanding “recognition of the damage caused” as well as “compensation.” Between 1960 and 1966, France carried out seventeen nuclear tests on the sites of Reggane, then In Ekker, in the Algerian Sahara. Documents declassified in 2013 revealed significant radioactive fallout, stretching from West Africa to southern Europe.

“We have not reached agreements on five large and heavy issues. But we continue to work on it,” reiterated the minister, stressing that meetings between officials of the two countries are continuing to prepare for this state visit.

At the beginning of August, the Algerian President, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, declared that his visit to France was "still maintained", but depended "on the program" of the Elysée, specifying that a "state visit has conditions" and “is not a tourist visit.”

The stay, initially scheduled for the beginning of May, had been postponed until June, the Algerians fearing that it would be spoiled by the May 1 demonstrations against the highly contested pension reform in France, according to consistent sources. This visit was to mark the improvement between the two countries after numerous diplomatic crises.