Algerian newly elected president responds to France's Macron

Source: Xinhua| 2019-12-14 07:05:17|Editor: Lu Hui
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ALGIERS, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- Newly elected President of Algeria on Friday responded to the statements made earlier in the day by his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron.

Macron told reporters in Brussels that "I have come to know that Abdelmadjid Tebboune won Algerian presidential election in the first round, and I hope authorities to engage real dialogue with the protesting populations."

When asked about the reaction of Macron, Tebboune simply responded by saying "I have no comment, he (Macron) is free to market the goods he wants in his country, I only recognize the Algerian people."

Tebboune further noted that "I'm extremely sensitive when it comes to national sovereignty," adding "Algeria is a pivotal country in Africa, the Mediterranean and the Arab world and our international relations are based on the principle of reciprocity, as we do not accept dictations from any country, nor do we accept interfering in Algeria's domestic affairs."

So far, Algiers and Paris have failed to normalize their long standing bilateral relations, as the two nations are still unable to overcome their common "painful" past, which includes a 132 long years of French colonialism in the North Africa nation.

In Algeria, it is understood that the bilateral relations with France could reach normalization only when Paris recognizes the crimes committed during its colonial era, and offer apology to the victims of that "brutal" colonialism rule.

However, Paris is still considering colonialism a bright era which "brought civilization" to other peoples, while recognizing that "some atrocities were committed," but without apologizing for them.

As whether to reopen closed border with neighboring Morocco, Tebboune said, "the peoples of Morocco and Algeria are brothers, however some circumstances imposed the decision of closing the border (in 1994), this issue could only be solved by treating the causes that led to that decision."

The two countries have tense relations and the borders have been closed since 1994 after that Rabat started imposing visa entry on Algerian nationals, following a bomb attack in Marrakesh, which Moroccans attributed to Algerian services.

The lasting diplomatic coldness between Algiers and Rabat is mostly provoked by the disagreement between the two nations over the issue of the Western Sahara.

Algiers supports self-determination for the Sahrawi people, while Rabat insists that the Western Sahara is part of Morocco territories.

Tebboune, 74, was elected the eighth president of this North African nation since it won independence from France in 1962, as he grabbed a majority vote of 58.15 percent in the presidential polls held on Thursday. More than 4.9 million voters chose Tebboune out of 8.5 million expressed votes.