The French daily Le Monde reported that President Macron made critical remarks about Algeria during a meeting.
Algeria has accused its former colonial ruler France of “genocide” and recalled its ambassador from Paris in anger over what he said were “inadmissible” comments attributed to French President Emmanuel Macron.
The immediate recall of the Algerian ambassador from France for “consultations” was announced Saturday night in a statement by the Algerian presidency.
The move also comes amid tensions over a French decision to drastically reduce the number of visas it grants to citizens of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.
“Following comments that have not been denied, which several French sources have attributed by name to” [Macron]Algeria expresses its categorical rejection of intolerable interference in its internal affairs,” the statement said, adding that the French comments were “an intolerable insult” to Algerians who died fighting French colonialism.
“The crimes committed by colonial France in Algeria are innumerable and meet the strictest definitions of genocide,” the statement said.
French daily Le Monde had reported that Macron made critical remarks about Algeria during a meeting on Thursday with French Algerian descendants of the Harkis, Algerians who fought on the French side during Algeria’s war of independence.
According to Le Monde, Macron said Algeria was ruled by a “political-military system” and described the country’s “official history” as “completely rewritten” into something “based not on truths” but “on a discourse of hate”. towards France”.
The newspaper added that he made it clear that he was not referring to Algerian society as a whole, but to the ruling elite.
France said the decision to reduce visas for Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia it announced last Tuesday was necessary because the former colonies were not doing enough to allow asylum seekers rejected by France to return.
On Wednesday, the Algerian Foreign Ministry convened French Ambassador Francois Gouyette and handed him a “formal protest” note over the visa regime.
It called the visa reduction an “unfortunate act” that “caused confusion and ambiguity about its motivation and scope”.
Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita has described the French move as “unjustified”.
Tunisian President Kais Saied expressed disappointment at the decision in a phone call with Macron on Saturday, his office said, adding that the French leader had said it could be reviewed.
Saturday’s decision marks the second time Algeria has recalled an ambassador from France.
Algiers also recalled its ambassador in May 2020 after French media aired a documentary about the Hirak movement, which grew out of the popular protests that erupted in Algeria in 2019.