Algerian president hails 'excellent' ties with Turkey

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune referred to his country’s relations with Turkey as “excellent,” highlighting Ankara’s investment in the region without any political ambitions.

In an interview with the French weekly Le Point published Wednesday, Tebboune said Turkey invested around $5 billion in Algeria “without any political demands in return.”

Those who discuss this relationship, he said, should come and experience Ankara’s support for Algiers in many ways before speaking.

In 2018, the National Agency for Investment Development said Turkey exceeded France as the top foreign investor in Algeria.

Tebboune also said he has received an official invitation to visit Turkey, as well as invites from Russia, Italy, Qatar and Tunisia.

Last year, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) reportedly threatened Algeria with sanctions over the country’s cooperation with Turkey. Tebboune had criticized the UAE’s deal with Israel, as he voiced his country’s support for the Palestinians.

The Algerian president had also sided with Turkey and the former United Nations-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) in the Libya conflict, saying that Tripoli is a “red line no one should cross.”

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Tebboune held bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the Berlin conference on Libya in January 2020 and have been supporting a political solution to the conflict.

Turkey and Algeria also signed a joint statement to establish a high-level cooperation council between the two countries to enhance ties.

Meanwhile, the president said Algeria is still waiting for France to fully admit the crimes and massacres committed during its 132 years of colonial rule in Algeria.

Tebboune also called on the French authorities to clean up the sites of French nuclear test explosions conducted in Algeria’s desert between 1957 and 1966.

In January, Macron refused to issue an official apology for the occupation of Algeria and the bloody eight-year war that ended French rule.

Commenting on “political Islam” groups, the president said since such groups do not hinder development, he does not oppose them.

“Political Islam” groups such as the Movement of Society for Peace (Hams) were part of Algerian governments between 1997 and 2012, in addition to their presence in the Algerian Parliament.