Algerian President demands ‘total respect’ from France

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Algerian President, Abdelmadjid Tebboune on Sunday demanded France’s “total respect”, following a row over visas and critical comments from Paris about the North African country.

Algeria recently recalled its ambassador from Paris and banned French military planes from its airspace, which France regularly uses to reach its forces battling jihadists in the Sahel region to the south.

This came after a bitter row over visas, followed by media reports that French President Emmanuel Macron had told descendants of Algeria’s 1954-1962 war of independence that Algeria was ruled by a “political-military system” that had “totally re-written” its history.

The office of Algeria’s president responded by saying the comments, which have not been denied, were an “interference” in the country’s internal affairs.

On Sunday Tebboune spoke publicly for the first time about the row with France, demanding “total respect” from the former colonial power.

The return of the Algerian ambassador to France “is conditional on total respect for the Algerian state”, Tebboune told local media outlets.

“We forget that it (Algeria) was once a French colony… History should not be falsified,” he added.

“We can’t act like nothing happened,” Tebboune said of Algeria’s history and its French colonial past.