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Algeria’s military chief on official discreet go to to France

Algeria’s highly effective military chief is on a discreet however extraordinary official go to to Paris, the primary by a top-ranked Algerian basic since independence from France greater than six many years in the past.

Gen. Said Chanegriha met Monday with President Emmanuel Macron, the Elysee Palace stated, forward of a gathering Tuesday with French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu.

Chanegriha was invited to France by his counterpart, the top of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Thierry Burkhard, who had met him final August throughout a go to to Algeria by Macron. The French president was on a mission to attempt to heal wounds and search a measure of reconciliation after France’s 132 years as a colonizer.

Algeria was the crown jewel of France’s colonial empire with a particular standing that made it half and parcel of France. Ties between the 2 international locations have been strained since Algeria received independence in 1962 after a brutal seven-year conflict.

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Chanegriha’s go to was low-key with no official bulletins by the French, in distinction to Algerian authorities.

The Algerian Defense Ministry stated Chanegriha gave a message to Macron from President Abdelmadjid Tebboune throughout their Monday assembly with out revealing its contents. Tebboune is anticipated to go to Paris later this yr.

The French protection minister and Gen. Burkhard have been current on the assembly with Macron.

Algerian Army chief, Gen. Said Chanegriha, left, gets a present given by French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu, on Jan. 24, 2023 in Paris.

Algerian Army chief, Gen. Said Chanegriha, left, will get a gift given by French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu, on Jan. 24, 2023 in Paris.
(Christophe Archambault, Pool by way of AP)

The two international locations have mutual army issues, notably within the unstable Sahel area that borders southern Algeria and the place French troops are preventing Islamist extremists. The French additionally doubtless have deep issues in regards to the more and more bitter relationship between Algeria and neighboring Morocco over the Western Sahara, the place Algerian-backed rebels are in search of independence in territory claimed by Rabat.

Chanegriha obtained a proper welcome Monday on the prestigious army establishment Ecole Militaire. A tweet Monday by Burkhard with pictures of the ceremony disappeared on Tuesday.

In Algeria, the military performs a first-rate although behind-the-scenes function. Chanegriha’s predecessor, Ahmed Gaid Salah, helped push now-deceased President Abdelaziz Bouteflika from workplace in 2019, ending his 20 years in energy amid months of peaceable protest marches.

Gaid Salah visited Paris in 2006 however in an unofficial capability, reportedly checking on the well being of Bouteflika who on the time was being handled for abdomen issues at a French army hospital.

The Algerian military grew out of the preventing drive within the independence conflict. A political wing served as the only real political get together operating Algeria for 3 many years.

While Bouteflika, as president, visited France and addressed the nation’s parliament, Algeria’s military chief by no means obtained an official invitation from Paris earlier than Chanegriha.

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