Algeria, France reach agreement on archival preservation

(MENAFN) According to media reports, Algeria and France have reached an agreement concerning the retrieval and preservation of Algerian archives dating back to the period of French colonization (1830-1962). The Algerian History and Memory Committee, led by historian Lahcen Zeghidi, signed the agreement and joint memorandum with the French Truth and Memory Commission, represented by historian Benjamin Stora, as reported by an Algerian radio station.

The signing ceremony, held in the capital, Algiers, followed the conclusion of the fifth meeting of the Algeria-France Joint Commission on History and Memory. The agreement aims to facilitate the retrieval of Algerian archives from the colonial era, which hold significant historical value for the Algerian people.

While details about the content of the agreement were not disclosed, Algeria has emphasized four key issues in its discussions with France. These include the complete retrieval of archives, the repatriation of skulls and remains of resistance fighters, compensation for victims of nuclear tests and land cleanup, and clarification regarding the fate of missing individuals.

The establishment of the joint Commission, comprising exclusively of historians, occurred during French President Emmanuel Macron's visit to Algeria in August 2022, with the objective of addressing historical memory issues in a fair manner. Algeria has linked the improvement of relations with France to progress on the memory file, underscoring the importance of resolving historical grievances for bilateral reconciliation.

The visit of Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune to Paris has faced delays due to unresolved issues, particularly France's refusal to return historical artifacts belonging to Emir Abdelkader, including his sword and traditional cloak, currently held at the Château d'Amboise where he was imprisoned in the mid-19th century. These unresolved matters remain significant obstacles in the ongoing efforts to address historical grievances and foster closer relations between Algeria and France.



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