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Macron Starts Algeria Visit

FILE: French President Emmanuel Macron, at the Palace of Versailles. Image taken 7.11.2022

Accompanied by seven ministers, Macron arrived landed at 1430 GMT at Houari Boumediene Airport in the capital Algiers, where he was received by President Abdelmadjid Tebboune.

The first French president to be born after Algerian independence, Macron is hoping "to lay a foundation to rebuild and develop" a sometimes difficult relationship with the North African nation, his office said.

Macron in Algeria to Mend Relations
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The two heads of state will visit a monument to martyrs of the country's war for independence, which ended more than 130 years of French colonial rule in 1962.

The French leader, on his second visit to Algeria since he took power in 2017, "has chosen to direct this visit towards the future, (focusing on) start-ups, innovation, youth, new sectors," the Elysee said.

Algerian media said Macron's visit showed both countries' desire for relations built around "a new vision based on equal treatment and balance of interests".

It also reflected "a recognition of Algeria's central role in the region" and the country's "return to the international scene."

Macron, who will meet entrepreneurs in Algiers as well as young people in the second city Oran, is accompanied by a 90-strong delegation.

Ties between Paris and Algiers have been particularly stormy since last year, when Macron questioned Algeria's existence as a nation before the French occupation and accused the government of fomenting "hatred towards France".

Tebboune withdrew his country's ambassador in response and banned French military aircraft from its airspace.