Macron Shakes Hands With Algeria For Energy Sake
France–The young French President Emmanuel Macron is making news for the right reasons. He has encouraged an energy export scenario with the north African nation which was once a French colony. In a three-day visit, he has proudly and confidently said that ‘a new page’ has been turned in the trade relations between both the nations. This year marks six decades of Algerian independence after 132 years of French rule.
With Macron, comes a new leadership style where he makes allies of all those that were previously French colonies. But the bigger intent is the align a country that can be seen as a prospective alternative to Russian energy supply. European leaders have been struggling to replace Russian energy imports and Algeria, as Africa’s top gas exporter, is calling for a role to supply the continent.
Towards this, Macron went to Algeria for a three-day visit, where he has established a joint commission too, after having met with Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune in Algiers. The commission will be made up of historians, who will examine the colonial period and the devastating eight-year conflict, in which hundreds of thousand of people were killed.
Moving from an attitude of ‘pride and repentance’ to come to a point of ‘truth and recognition, Macron has seen reason in establishing a new-age friendship in such troubled times.
Over the years, relations between the two sides have at times been fragile, particularly last year when Mr Macron questioned Algeria’s existence as a nation before the French occupation and accused the government of fomenting “hatred towards France”. In response, Mr Tebboune withdrew his country’s ambassador and banned French military aircraft from Algerian airspace.
Normal diplomatic relations have since resumed, along with flights to French army bases in Sub-Saharan Africa. Mr Macron’s office insisted gas was not a major feature of the visit, although the head of French energy firm Engie, Catherine MacGregor, was part of his delegation of 90.