French President Sarkozy: « I will visit Algeria for economy, not for history »
Ech-Chorouk, December 02, 2007
French President Nicolas Sarkozy said in an interview on Sunday he saw Algeria as a pivotal country for France in all aspects especially in culture, economy and energy. He mentioned his desire to look forward future rather than the past in terms of bilateral relationships between Algeria and France.
No for history, yes for economy
In remarks reported by the Algerian news agency APS, the French president wanted to close the issue of colonial period in any way saying future generations ca not wait for old people to settle the past problems.
A number of civil society associations and Algerian revolution-related organisations expressed their refusal to this visit as the French president insists on not apologising for France’s colonial crimes committed in Algeria for 130 years.
Algeria provides France with gas till 2019
Sarkozy said that during his upcoming visit to Algeria deals will be concluded as part of providing French market with Algerian gas till 2019.
He added that an agreement on peaceful nuclear cooperation between Algeria and France is expected to be signed.
Projects and ambitions
French President Sarkozy said economic deals which will be concluded in Algeria during this visit will allow creating 7,000 new jobs in the North African country.
France which is seen as the first investor in Algeria outside hydrocarbons is seeking to be the biggest in all sectors, said Sarkozy.
He said the state energy Gaz de France was planning to invest 1 billion dollars, while the oil group Total planned 1.5 billion dollars’ worth of investments in Algeria.
“Your safety is ours and vice versa”
Sarkozy said Algeria’s safety is ours and vice versa and terrorism is a common enemy.
Previously, the no. 2 man in Al-Qaeda Aymen al-Zawahiri had urged to target foreigners especially French in North Africa.
Asked about France’s selective immigration policy, Sarkozy expressed his attachment to this principle. On the other hand, he said this policy had nothing to do with Algerian brain drain.
Selective immigration policy in France is less severe than the ones applied in other nations such as the U.S.A. and Australia, he added.
According to Nicolas Sarkozy, around 21 thousands of Algerian students are studying at French universities.
“It is difficult to oblige those students to go back home if they do not want that,” he told APS.
Story by : Nassim Lekhael / Echoroukonline / Translated by : Halima Nine