French President Emmanuel Macron welcomed the pardon of prisoners of conscience, which was decided by Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune on the occasion of the second anniversary of the launch of the popular movement, in a telephone conversation between them on Saturday, as the Elysee Palace announced on Sunday.
“The president of the republic expressed his support for the implementation of the ongoing reforms,” the Elysee said in a statement.
On Friday, the Algerian president promised to hold a cabinet reshuffle within “48 hours”, to dissolve parliament, and to organize early legislative elections by the end of the year.
On the other hand, it decided to pardon “between 55 and 60” detainees from the Hirak, the popular movement that launched in 2019 and resulted in the departure of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika from power after four successive terms.
The French presidency added that Macron “welcomed the pardon issued by President Abdel Majid Tebboune on the eve of the second anniversary of the start of the movement.”
“The two presidents agreed to strengthen cooperation between France and Algeria,” she added.
On the other hand, they exchanged views on the next steps for the report that Benjamin Stora delivered on the memory of colonialism and the Algerian war to the President of the Republic on January 20, she said.
In July, Emmanuel Macron commissioned Benjamin Stora, one of the most prominent experts specializing in modern Algerian history, to “prepare an accurate and fair report on what France has accomplished regarding the memory of colonialism and the Algerian war,” which ended in 1962 and is still a very painful episode in the memory of millions of French and Algerian families.
And Algerian Minister of Communication and government spokesman Ammar Belhimer said Wednesday that the report of the French historian “came below expectations.”
The Elysee announced that Macron emphasized his “quality” and “reiterated to his interlocutor his desire to continue working on memory, recognition of truth and reconciliation.”
With the approaching sixtieth anniversary of Algeria’s independence in 2022, this file on the memory of war continues to weigh on relations between the two countries.
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