Algerian president reportedly postpones May trip to Paris at last minute

Algerian president reportedly postpones May trip to Paris at last minute
The four-day visit was reportedly postponed to a "later date" over "agenda imperatives".
2 min read
19 April, 2023
"Our relationship with France fluctuates," said the Algerian President. [Getty]

The highly anticipated visit of Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune to Paris in May has been postponed at the last minute, according to French media Le Figaro.

On Tuesday, France's Le Figaro confirmed that Tebboune will no longer meet his French counterpart Macron from 2- 5 May. The four-day visit was postponed to a "later date" over "agenda imperatives," according to several sources.

On the eve of the visit, 1 May, France is set to witness a massive wave of union workers' protests amid the nationwide opposition to Macron's pension reform plan. After weeks of tit-for-tat, Macron announced on Monday "one hundred days" to unite the nation and his comeback to the ground, hoping to ease the tensions with the unions.

Meanwhile, Tebboune is set to have a busy international schedule in May as he is scheduled to visit both Moscow and Beijing. The Pan-African magazine Jeune Afrique said Algeria was the one who suggested the postponement considering Tebboune's eventful schedule. The visit was first announced in January.

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This last-minute cancellation came as the reception protocol and the preparations were already in their final phases.

The Algerian head of state was to be greeted on arrival at the airport by Emmanuel Macron, before going by helicopter to the Esplanade des Invalides.

Escorted by the Republican Guard, he also had to walk down the Champs-Élysées decked out in the colours of the Algerian national flag, according to media sources.

Tebboune was to be housed at the Hôtel de Marigny, the residence of foreign leaders during state visits. He was expected to deliver a speech before the French National Assembly, as well as take part in a state dinner.

This high-stakes trip was set to address several sensitive issues including historical reconciliation, ties with the Maghreb and economic partnership.

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France and Algeria have yet to officially confirm the postponement.

The visit was set to be a turning point in Macron-Tebboune's wobbly relationship. French President Emmanuel Macron visited Algeria last year, warmly embracing President Abdelmadjid Tebboune on a trip that seemed to turn a page on years of tense relations.

However, the two states descended into a new conflict in February with Algeria recalling its envoy. The Algerian envoy was back in Paris a month later.

"Our relationship with France fluctuates," admitted the Algerian president in an interview in March.