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Algeria welcomes French Prime minister, signs new bilateral agreement to deepen relations

L-Elisabeth Borne, French Prime Minister, R- Aïmene Benabderrahmane, Algerian Prime minister   -  
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ALAIN JOCARD/AFP or licensors -

Algeria

Algerian and French Prime Ministers have expressed their wish to "intensify" warm relations after growing rapprochement between the presidents of the two countries in late August.

The wish was expressed Sunday in Algiers at the beginning of a two day state visit of the French prime minister Elizabeth Borne alongside a 15 member top level delegation.

"(On visas) Over the past few months, in line with the Algiers Declaration, our discussions have aimed to better manage and organise the movement of people between our two countries. We have discussed ways of encouraging student, scientific and artistic mobility - I am thinking of the artist residency programme - and of course economic mobility." Borne, the French Prime Minister said.

She mentioned three pillars for this "strengthened" partnership: the economy to "develop trade, innovation and create jobs"; mobility and visas; and youth through increased educational and cultural cooperation.

"The time of misunderstanding is behind us," Ms. Borne had said ahead of the visit on the issue of ultra-sensitive memory of colonization and the Algerian war.

For his part, Aïmene Benabderrahmane, Algeria's Prime minister said they both ''..comfortably noted together the quality of political dialogue between the two countries on all levels and especially between the two countries’ presidents and the strong agreement on the key issue of strengthening consultation and coordination around regional and international issues of joint interest." 

- Lunch with Tebboune -

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne began her visit on Sunday with memorial gestures, following the example of President Emmanuel Macron during his trip in late August, which, after months of tension, helped warm relations between the two countries.

Prior to this trip, Mr. Macron spoke Sunday by phone with his counterpart Abdelmadjid Tebboune, pleading again for the realization of "renewed and ambitious partnership" decided five weeks ago.

Elisabeth Borne is scheduled to have lunch on Monday with Mr. Tebboune, who signed with Mr. Macron on August 27 a "Declaration of Algiers" around six axes of bilateral cooperation.

The CIHN meeting on Sunday resulted in the signing of a dozen texts: "declarations of intent" on employment, industrial cooperation, tourism and crafts, or disability, a "partnership agreement" in the agricultural field and a "memorandum of understanding" on startups.

The holding of the CIHN in itself "is already a step forward" in the political dialogue, according to Hasni Abidi, director of the Center for Studies and Research on the Arab and Mediterranean World (Cermam) in Geneva.

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