Macron believes he must “make no apologies” for colonization

MOHAMMED BADRA/AFP French President Emmanuel Macron watches while attending a tribute ceremony for veterans of the Algerian War, at the Hotel National des Invalides, in Paris on October 18, 2022. – The tribute paid on October 18, 2022 by Emmanuel Macron to Algerian war veterans The Algerian War aims to remember that “the vast majority” of them “refuse to violate the principles of the French Republic”, unlike the “minority” who “spread terror”, the Elysee said. (Photo by Mohammed BADRA / POOL / AFP)


President Emmanuel Macron during a ceremony for Algerian war veterans, in Paris on October 18, 2022.

POLICY – No excuses. In an interview, French President Emmanuel Macron said he had none “not to apologize” to Algeria for colonization. He also said he hoped to welcome his colleague Abdelmajid Tebboune to France in 2023 to continue the work of remembrance and reconciliation between the two countries.

“I don’t need to apologize. That’s not the point, that word will sever all ties.”he explained in a lengthy interview with Algerian writer Kamel Daoud to the French weekly Point published Wednesday, January 11 evening.

“The worst thing is to conclude: ‘We are sorry and everyone goes their own way’he judged. There, an incorrect answer is as loud as a rejection. Because, in this case, it wasn’t an actual confession. This is the balance of any account. » He showed it “The only collective forgiveness[il a] ask, it’s up to harkis”.

“Don’t hide what you’ve been through”

The issue of apology is at the heart of the bilateral relationship and a recurring tension between the two countries. In 2020, Algeria recently welcomed a report by French historian Benjamin Stora advocating a series of moves to try to reconcile the two countries, while excluding “repentance” and “apology”.

“Memory work and history are not a balance of all accounts”continued Emmanuel Macron. “On the contrary, maintaining that there is something that cannot be qualified, something that is misunderstood, something that may not be decided, something that cannot be forgiven”he underlined, defending the creation of a commission of historians “because you still need facts, objectivity in this past”.

“For me, it’s very important not to hide what has been, what has been experienced. There is a need to reach a new stage and reconcile these different narratives with contemporary and immediate history. I must recall again that, on the French side, the war in Algeria has been the matrix of all postcolonial hatred of France.also recognized by the president.

For him, it was because the war in Algeria was still a “traumatized” that “talking about Algeria is necessary”. ” [Ce travail] very important for France, for bilateral relations, for relations with the African continent. (…) The future is to revisit this shared past in a different way. This was one of my messages during my last trip to Algeria, in August 2022”he continued.

President of Algeria in France in 2023?

“I also hope President Tebboune can come to France in 2023”note also Emmanuel Macron, to continue “a work of friendship like never before (..)” after his own visit to Algeria in August 2022.

Asked about the possibility of a meditation ceremony by the Algerian president at the grave of members of the retinue of Abdelkader, a hero of the resistance to French colonialism, who is buried in Amboise, he predicted it would happen. “a very beautiful and very powerful moment” and that he “hope”.

“I believe this will make sense in the history of the Algerian people. For the French, it will be an opportunity to understand a reality that is often hidden., he said again. Abdel Kader (1808-1883) was held in Amboise with several members of his family from 1848 to 1852.

Emmanuel Macron also called “appeasement” tensions between Algeria and Morocco, two rival powers in the region. He says he doesn’t believe in this war between neighbors, taking notes “speculation for some, fantasy for others and even a desire for war for some”.

Algeria cut diplomatic ties with Morocco in August 2021, accusing Rabat“hostile act”. A decision “absolutely unacceptable”according to Rebate.

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