By John Ikani
Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune on Sunday demanded France’s “total respect”, following a diplomatic row over visas and critical comments from Paris about the North African country.
Algiers last week recalled its Ambassador from Paris because of comments made by President Emmanuel Macron attacking the Algerian state.
The following day, the French army said that Algeria had banned French military planes from flying over its territory.
In his first public comments on the matter, Abdelmadjid Tebboune said France should forget that Algeria had once been its colony, demanding “total respect” from the former colonial power.
The return of the Algerian Ambassador to France “is conditional on total respect for the Algerian state”, Tebboune told local media outlets.
“We forget that it (Algeria) was once a French colony… History should not be falsified,” he added.
“We can’t act like nothing happened,” Tebboune said of Algeria’s history and its French colonial past.
The current dispute was sparked after France cut the number of visas it issues for citizens of Algeria and other North African countries.
It escalated after President Macron was quoted as saying Algeria was ruled by a “political-military system” with an official history that was based not on truth, but on hatred of France.
He later said he had “cordial” relations with his Algerian counterpart and hoped diplomatic tensions would ease soon.