Paris: A French foreign ministry spokesman said on Thursday that France would continue efforts to strengthen ties with Algeria, despite Algiers accusing Paris of expelling an activist on Wednesday.

Algeria recalled its ambassador to Paris on Wednesday after he was detained during 2019’s mass protests and released from prison in 2020, according to Algerian and French media.

Speaking to reporters, French deputy foreign ministry spokesman Francois Delmas declined to comment on specific allegations but said that Bouroui, a Franco-Algerian citizen, benefited from consular protection like all French citizens.

Algiers’ reaction could trigger a new crisis between the countries after months of increasingly warm relations. 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 difficult ties.

Algeria’s powerful military chief, Said Chengriha, recently spent three days in Paris to discuss military issues including Africa’s Sahel region, and met Macron. Tebboune was due to visit Paris later this year.

“The recall of the ambassador is an Algerian decision, but for us, we intend to continue to work to deepen our bilateral relations with a renewed partnership,” Delmas said.

Bouraoui was arrested in Tunisia this week and faced an extradition hearing, but the judge ordered her to be freed and she was allowed to leave the country on Monday.

French media have reported that her release and flight to France are the results of French diplomatic pressure on Tunisia.

By Archana

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