It is a journey intended to address the questions that do not annoy. This Saturday, October 8, Elisabeth Borne is expected in Algiers where she will spend two days and must meet, in particular President Abdelmadjid Tebboune. Youth, economy, energy transition: the menu of discussions therefore promises to be consensual for Elisabeth Borne, who must be accompanied by 16 ministers in order to concretize the reconciliation sealed by the presidents of the two countries at the end of August.
The Prime Minister must in particular chair, with her Algerian counterpart Aïmene Benabderrahmane, the fifth High Level Intergovernmental Committee (CIHN), the last edition of which dates back to 2017. The two countries should sign agreements in the fields of training, transition energy, economic cooperation, youth and education, but also on more sovereign projects. Ministers Bruno Le Maire (economy), Gérald Darmanin (interior), Catherine Colonna (foreign affairs), Éric Dupond-Moretti (justice), Olivier Dussopt (labour) and Pap Ndiaye (education) will notably be on the trip.
sensitive files “not on the agenda”
The more sensitive files, on immigration or the memorial question, will be postponed, as will the question of an increase in deliveries of Algerian gas to France. She won’t be “not on the agenda” of the visit, according to Matignon.
Elisabeth Borne’s visit aims, in fact, to concretize the “Declaration of Algiers for a renewed partnership”signed by the French presidents on 27 August. “Emmanuel Macron has cleared the way and the time is right for this kind of cooperation. Today, we are at a turning point in the relationship, we need a certain durabilitydeciphers Hasni Abidi, director of the Center for Studies and Research on the Arab and Mediterranean World (Cermam) in Geneva. The French president’s bet is to win the confidence of the Algerians by moving forward on issues that do not constitute great difficulties for the two parties, to finally tackle difficult subjects, such as the migration issue.adds the researcher.
The visa issue
Among these more sensitive subjects, the question of visas has poisoned relations between the two countries for several months, after a halving of the number of those granted by France to Algerian nationals; a measure taken to compel Algeria to readmit its nationals expelled from France.
Thus, the presidents of the two countries had, at the end of August, paved the way for a relaxation of the visa regime granted to Algeria for students, entrepreneurs, scientists, sportsmen and artists, in exchange for increased cooperation from Algiers in the fight against illegal immigration. But “the discussions have not yet concluded as we speak”, said Matignon, Thursday, October 6. Paris says it has however noted, at the end of August, an increase in the number of readmissions to Algeria and hopes for a “raised” next of the last “blockages”.
The commission of historians always “under construction”
The other sensitive subject concerns the memory of colonization and the war in Algeria. The commission of Algerian and French historians which is to be set up to examine ” without taboo “ the archives of the two countries, “is still under construction”, according to Matignon. This will not prevent the head of the French government from laying, on her arrival and as is the tradition, a wreath at the Monument des Martyrs, a high place of Algerian memory of the War of Independence (1954-1962) facing France, before going to the Saint-Eugène cemetery in Algiers, where many French people born in Algeria are buried.