Statement to the press by Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, following his audience with Abdelmadjid Tebboune, President of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria (Algiers, 8 December 2021)
Ladies and gentlemen, I’m glad to be back in Algeria. I had the pleasure and honour of speaking at length to President Tebboune and my counterpart, Minister Lamamra. I’d like to thank them for their warm welcome.
It was important for me to travel to Algiers for a working visit and to assess the bilateral relationship.
The aim of this visit is twofold: to rebuild a trustful relationship between our two countries, a relationship marked by respect for each side’s sovereignty, but also to look to the future so that we can work on revitalizing and deepening our partnership, which is essential. France and Algeria have deep ties driven by the close human relations between Algerians and French people, and rooted in a complex history.
I expressed a desire to work on removing the obstacles and misunderstandings that may exist between our two countries. During our discussions, we agreed to resume a number of cooperation projects. This will be reflected in the resumption of operational dialogue between partners on human and migratory issues. It will also be reflected in the resumption of operational dialogue on the fight against terrorism, and finally it will be reflected in our joint efforts to ensure our two countries’ security.
We would like the dialogue we are launching today to lead to a resumption of political exchanges between our governments in 2022. Beyond the wounds of the past, which we must face up to, beyond the misunderstandings, which it is up to us to overcome, I would like our two countries together to rejoin the path to a calm relationship and be able to look to the future.
I want to repeat here that Algeria is an essential bilateral but also regional partner for France. We intend to continue coordinating our diplomatic initiatives to promote the process of political transition in Libya, following the Paris conference at which Minister Lamamra represented President Tebboune.
We also took stock of the situation in Mali, where Algeria is playing an important role. Algeria’s commitment to the implementation of the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation is key to the peace process in Mali. I want to pay tribute here to this commitment and would very much like to see our dialogue continue on this.
France and Algeria together face major challenges in an uncertain regional and international environment. We must be able to propose operational responses to the challenges of terrorism in the Sahel region, but also illegal immigration and economic development issues. On all these subjects, and because our interests are shared, it is crucial we consult each other. This was the purpose of my being here today in Algiers. Thank you.