ALGIERS: French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne began a visit to Algeria on Sunday with a top-level delegation, pushing for better ties with the former French colony and major gas exporter.
Her two-day trip along with 16 ministers — over a third of her government — comes just six weeks after President Emmanuel Macron concluded a three-day visit aimed at ending months of tensions with Algiers.
Borne is expected to sign deals on economic cooperation, including energy — although deliveries of natural gas to France are “not on the table”, according to her office. Ties between the North African country and its former colonial ruler had seen months of tensions after Macron last year questioned Algeria’s existence as a nation before the French occupation, accusing the government of fomenting “hatred towards France”.
But during his visit in August, Macron and his Algerian counterpart Abdelmadjid Tebboune drew a line under the spat, declaring a “new, irreversible dynamic of progress”. Borne is also set to meet Tebboune, as well as Algerian Prime Minister Aimene Benabderrahmane, with whom she is expected to sign several agreements.
In an interview with news website Tout Sur l’Algerie (TSA), she said the visit would focus on “education, culture, the ecological transition and the economy”. — AFP