French President Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday that he wants to strengthen relations between France and Algeria on the 60th anniversary of the former colony’s independence, according to the Elysee.
"The 60th anniversary of Algeria's independence is an opportunity for the President of the Republic to send a letter to President Tebboune his wishes to the Algerian people and to express his wish that the strengthening of already strong ties between France and Algeria," he wrote to Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, said a BFMTV report.
Macron also reaffirmed his commitment to continue the “truth and reconciliation of the memories of the Algerian and French peoples.”
The former colony won independence after a bloody war in 1962, bringing closure to the 132-year-long French occupation.
Algeria will celebrate with a military parade in front of several heads of state.
In Paris, a wreath-laying ceremony will be held at the National Memorial of the War in Algeria and the Combat of Morocco and Tunisia, to honor the European and French victims of the Oran massacre that took place on the same day.
Paris and Algiers have shared a hostile relationship since the independence struggle which has been hot and cold in the last six decades. After coming to power in 2017, Macron attempted to reset the Franco-Algerian relationship, by setting up a truth and reconciliation project on colonization.
He is a rare head of the state to acknowledge the torture and killings by French troops against freedom fighters and declassify sensitive judicial archives on the Algerian war.
But his refusal to offer an official apology for the occupation and atrocities during the resistance war provoked Algeria’s ire.
Relations further hit a rocky road after Paris reduced visa quotas for Algeria and former colonies in North Africa and Macron accused the ruling dispensation of rewriting history to foment anti-French hatred.
The political crisis was laid to rest after Macron expressed regret for his comments last year./aa