On a three-day trip to Algeria, Emmanuel Macron should not discuss visa quotas, the Algerian War or even Western Sahara. What topics does the French president intend to discuss with Abdelmadjid Tebboune?
Those who expected strong statements from French President Emmanuel Macron during his trip to Algeria, on visa quotas or on memorial issues, may be disappointed. Indeed, the French head of state seems to have carved out a tailor-made program to avoid angry questions during his "official and friendly" visit - and not state - from August 25 to 27 in Algeria. , a power in a strong position while the global energy crisis is latent.
Admittedly, the Elysée is announcing a trip “looking towards the future while continuing to appease memories”. But after the remarks of the President of the French Republic, during a dinner on September 30, 2021, during which Emmanuel Macron had declared that Algeria had been built on "a memorial rent" maintained by "the politico-military system" , and that the "official history" had been "totally rewritten", the Head of State seems to no longer want to venture into this field.
To avoid this pitfall, Emmanuel Macron should therefore sweep very quickly, during a dinner with his Algerian counterpart Abdelmadjid Tebboune this Thursday evening, the memorial question. As well as visas. Politics should also be a minimal topic of discussion, Macron having decided to focus on "young entrepreneurship and civil society", according to sources close to the French authorities.
We already know that at the end of this trip, no signature of contract in the fields of economy or armament will be announced. Visa quotas should also not be discussed with the press. Finally, no question either for Emmanuel Macron of decide on Western Sahara and Morocco.
But then, what will Emmanuel Macron do in Algeria? His August 27 trip to Oran mirrors his Algerian mini-tour. Indeed, the French president has planned to visit Boualem Disco Maghreb, after the success of DJ Snake's title, and to meet break-dancers.
Throughout his stay, Emmanuel Macron will meet members of civil society, sportsmen, artists and young Algerian entrepreneurs. With his delegation, notably composed of the rector of the Grand Mosque of Paris Chems-Eddine Hafiz – Haïm Korsia, the Chief Rabbi of France, is finally forfeited because of Covid-19 – he will make several symbolic visits, such as to the Grand Mosque from Algiers.
Avoid annoying topics
Symbols – this is the first visit to an Algerian mosque by a French president – therefore, and nothing more. “The President of the Republic has chosen to orient this visit towards the future: startups, innovation, youth, new sectors and not only those that are regularly mentioned”, sums up the Elysée. Macron cannot be wrong.
Except that he will have to, at one time or another, “continue the work of appeasement accomplished on the memorial level”, even if “this is not the primary objective of this visit” continues the Elysée. Following his blunders concerning the memorial file, Macron is walking on eggshells. “The President of the Republic expressed his regrets in September and since then, contacts and exchanges with the Algerian authorities have continued, intensified and resulted in the invitation of the President of the Republic by the Algerian President”, affirms the Elysée . It is certain that the French president, also accompanied by the historian Benjamin Stora, will remain very neutral on the subject.