ALGIERS, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) — French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday paid a one-day visit to Algeria to boost bilateral relations and reinforce security cooperation, while the memory of the colonial past of France in the North African nation was again under the spotlight.
During his short stay in the capital Algiers, Macron was accompanied by his Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and Minister of Public Action and Accounts Gerard Darmanin, as well as some parliamentary members and artists.
Security and anti-terror cooperation, in addition to the regional situation, will also be on the agenda.
So far, Algiers and Paris have failed to normalize their long-standing bilateral relations, as the two countries are still unable to overcome the “painful” past, or the 132-year French colonization in the North Africa nation.
In Algeria, it is understood that the relations with France could reach normalization only when Paris recognizes the crimes it committed during the colonial era, and offers apology to the victims of the “brutal” colonial rule.
However, Paris is still considering colonialism a bright era which brought “civilization” to other areas. It admits that “some atrocities” were committed, but declined to apologize for them.
“We are not against the French, but rather against French colonialism and we will not give up claiming our rights,” Zitouni told the local national radio.
“Relations cannot be good without the resolution of the issue of memory,” he noted.
However, the new French president recently made contradictory statements, as he told French Trace TV channel that there will be neither “recognition” nor “repentance” for French colonialism in the African continent.