Algeria foreign minister rejects French meddling in internal affairs
Algeria says it will not allow France to interfere in its internal affairs, amid escalating tensions between Algiers and Paris over recent inflammatory remarks by the French president about its former North African colony.
“We reject any interference in our domestic affairs,” Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra said in an interview with Press TV.
“We don’t accept any value judgment on the formation of the Algerian nation,” Lamamra said.
Algeria’s top diplomat described his nation as an old one that is “deeply rooted in history and has contributed significantly to the prosperity in the Mediterranean region.”
He said Algiers has cooperated very efficiently and substantially with European countries, including France, but has also had disagreements with Paris on many issues.
Last week, the French government said it was cutting the number of visas available to Maghreb countries including Algeria, citing their refusal to take back illegal migrants.
Last month, French President Emmanuel Macron made remarks critical of its former colony during a meeting with descendants of those who fought against France in the Algerian war of independence from 1954-62.
He described the Algerian system as "tired" and "weakened" by the Hirak, the pro-democracy movement which prompted the resignation in 2019 of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
Following Macron’s comments, Algeria accused France of “genocide” and announced the recall of its ambassador from Paris in anger over what it said were “inadmissible” remarks.
“The crimes of colonial France in Algeria are innumerable and fit the strictest definitions of genocide,” Algerian presidency said in a statement.
France killed millions of Algerians and committed war crimes during its colonial rule of the North African nation from 1830 to 1962.
In May 1830, France invaded Algeria under the pretext of receiving seven million francs. Algerian fighters strongly resisted the attack, but due to the superiority of the French equipment, the war was prolonged and French soldiers committed murder, rape, torture and other crimes against Algerians.
According to some estimates, the struggle for independence from France left over five and a half million Algerians dead, which amounted to about half of the country’s population at that time.
After the victory of the revolution and the independence of Algeria, the crimes of France continued and led to the destruction of Algerian settlements and the killing of thousands of people.
Even after nearly 60 years, Paris has failed to act against perpetrators of genocide, torture, murder or even to compensate the country for such actions committed by its forces.