Algeria to return ambassador to France after diplomatic spat

Algeria will soon return its ambassador to France, President Abdelmadjid Tebboune said a few weeks after withdrawing the ambassador due to a political dispute with a Franco-Algerian activist.

Algiers expelled its ambassador in early February after accusing the former dictator of aiding the “clandestine and illegal exfiltration” of lawmaker Amira Bouraoui from Algeria to France after she was sentenced to two years in prison for “offending Islam” and insulting the president.

But in an interview with the Pan Arab news channel Al-Jazeera, reported by the APS news agency, Tebboune said that his representative, Said Moussi, ” soon be back in Paris”.

“Our relationship with France is fluctuating,” he said.

Algerian and French relations fell into crisis at the end of 2021 after French President Emmanuel Macron made a controversial speech about Algerian history.

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But Macron visited the vast North African country last August, signing a joint declaration with Tebboune to relaunch bilateral cooperation.

The Bouraoui affair has reignited tensions.

Algerian authorities have placed four people in pre-trial detention over the case, prosecutors said in February.

A prominent figure in a 2014 protest movement against then-president Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s bid for a fourth term in office, Bouraoui was also involved in the Hirak protest movement which unseated him in 2019.

She was sentenced in June 2020 to two years in prison before being granted provisional release the following month, but banned from leaving Algeria.

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