French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne is leading a high-level delegation to Algeria aimed at improving relations with the former French colony and signing several economic cooperation agreements.
According to AFP, Borne arrived yesterday for the two-day visit and was accompanied by 16 ministers, representing more than a third of her government. Among the most important agreements to be signed will be one on the pressing issue of energy between Paris and the gas-rich North African country, although his office said that deliveries of natural gas to France are “not ” not on the table”.
Algerian Prime Minister Aimene Benabderrahmane personally welcomed the Borne delegation before a meeting at the highest level where a dozen texts, including “declarations of intent” on employment, industrial cooperation and tourism, were signed. “It’s a step to build even deeper cooperation between France and Algeria,” Borne told reporters afterwards.
In an interview with the Tout sur l’Algérie (TSA) news site, she said the visit would focus on “education, culture, ecological transition and the economy“.
“Further cooperation will be a source of growth for our two countries,” she said.
The visit follows months of tensions between Paris and Algiers that culminated in an August visit by French President Emmanuel Macron intended to improve relations after his remarks last year sparked a backlash, calling into question the existence of Algeria as a nation before the 132 years of French occupation.
The inclusion of education as a priority also comes at a time when Algeria has introduced the teaching of English in primary schools in a move seen as the country’s attempt to overcome its Francophone and colonial heritage.
READ: Algeria takes ‘French is a waste of time’ to heart with shift to English