Algeria’s powerful army chief, Gen. Said Chanegriha, is on an unprecedented official visit to Paris this week, the first by a top-ranked general since Algeria’s independence from France over six decades ago. Chanegriha met with President Emmanuel Macron and French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu to discuss mutual military concerns.
Ties between France and Algeria have been strained since Algeria won independence in 1962 after a seven-year war. But the two countries have been looking to strengthen their relationship in recent years. Chanegriha was invited to France by his counterpart, the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who had met him last August during a visit to Algeria by Macron.
On Monday, Chanegriha received a formal welcome at the military institution Ecole Militaire. During the ceremony, he gave a message to Macron from Algeria’s President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, expressing a desire to work with France in building a constructive relationship for the benefit of both countries.
The visit is being seen as a sign of improving ties between the two countries, and is being widely applauded by both French and Algerian citizens. It is hoped that this visit could be the first step in a new era of cooperation and understanding between the two countries.
The two sides are expected to sign a defense cooperation agreement during the visit, which will include measures to strengthen their military ties, exchange military personnel and equipment, and promote joint projects between Algeria and France. The agreement will also provide for greater cooperation between the two countries in the fight against terrorism.