French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna defended, on Tuesday, March 07, 2023, during a hearing before the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly, her country’s policy in the Maghreb countries.
In response to the criticism leveled by many deputies in this regard, Colonna said, “Apart from the cases that may be cases of misunderstanding on your part of the relationship with Algeria, we must all work, each from his position, in order for this relationship to be, and it is a long-term relationship.” beneficial for both sides,” the French and the Algerian.
Algeria recently recalled its ambassador to France in protest against what it considered a “secret evacuation” that took place with the help of French diplomats and security personnel, after the French-Algerian activist Amira Bouraoui was able to return to France from Tunisia, which she was planning to deport to Algeria.
Paris stressed its desire to deepen its relations with Algeria, although this matter irritates Rabat.
During the session, several deputies asked the foreign minister about information recently published by “Jeanne Afrique” quoting an official source in the Moroccan government, whom the magazine did not name, in which he said that “relations are neither friendly nor good, neither between the two governments nor between the royal palace and the Elysee.”
Colonna responded by saying that this statement had an anonymous source.
She added, “If we read statements that we do not like in the press, they are from anonymous sources and therefore do not warrant a specific comment.”
The Secretary of State also stressed her commitment to “practice appeasement”, as evidenced by the fact that she herself traveled to Morocco in December on a visit that enabled the resumption of “normal consular relations”.
On her visit, Colonna announced the end of the visa restrictions imposed by France, which had damaged relations between France and Morocco.
Paris soon made a similar decision for Algeria.
“I hope, for my part, I will continue to practice the same moderation,” Colonna added.
The minister did not mention the visit that was scheduled to be made by French President Emmanuel Macron to Morocco in the first quarter of this year, which, apparently, is no longer valid.
But Colonna recalled the talks she held last December in Rabat, during which the French and Moroccan governments expressed their desire to rebuild their relationship in depth and discussed Macron’s possible visit.