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Algiers residents react to Macron's upcoming visit to Algeria

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LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP or licensors

Algeria

The announcement of the official visit of the French president, Emmanuel Macron, Thursday, was generally well received by the inhabitants of Algiers, although the wounds of the war are still fresh, 60 years later.

Othmane Abdellouche, a resident, still carries the memory of Macron's last visit to the country.

"In 2017 before he became president, he said good things. He had made his visit, but just after he came back to France, he changed. He had a different speech. Let's hope that today's France will understand that Algeria is politically, economically, militarily and finally independent."

Memories of violence during the colonial period continue to overshadow ties between the two.

French-Algerian ties hit a low late last year after Macron reportedly questioned whether Algeria had existed as a nation before the French invasion

Nadia Dridi, President of the National Association for the Promotion of Women and Youth also shared her opinion.

"Personally, I would have liked France to apologise for what happened, what we saw, what history told. It's blatant, it's clear" she said.

Hassan Boudaoued, a retailer had a different opinion.

"We live at a time when everyone sees their own interests. France has interests with us, and for us it's the same, Algeria has interests with France too. But our problem is not about these interests, the problem is that our archives (concerning the Algerian war, ed) are still in France and we have no news about them. They rightfully belong to the martyrs of the war. The discussions (between the two countries, ed) should not be only about protocols and trade," he stressed.

The presidency says the trip will contribute to deepening the bilateral relationship looking to the future.The North African country won its independence from France following a gruelling eight-year war, which ended with the signing in March 1962 of the Evian Accords.