France Plays Down Dispute with Algeria
French officials on Thursday sought to play down a diplomatic row that has grown in intensity with Algeria since Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine again commented the unrest in Algeria earlier this week, reported the Kuwaiti official news agency (KUNA).
Last month, Vedrine sparked a first round of recriminations from Algerian officials when he said France could not stand silently faced with the violence involving police and Berbers.
Dozens of Berbers were killed in the May clashes and fresh incidents last weekend in Algiers prompted Vedrine to once again speak out in the French parliament, said the agency. He said that the demands for change by the Algerian youth were "profoundly legitimate" and reflected a desire for "a resumption of political, democratic, economic and social modernization."
Vedrine also said that the European Union felt the demands were legitimate. Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika was not slow in responding to Vedrine. On Wednesday, he told Algerians that there were foreign powers plotting against the country and that one power, "which was unable for a century and a half to impose its domination," was targeting Algeria, referring to France.
French diplomatic sources asked on Thursday to comment Bouteflika's accusation said that there would be no official reaction from the government in Paris.
Algeria has frequently accused France of interfering in its internal affairs, accusations that have generally been followed by a strain in relations.
Bouteflika visited France last year and delivered speech at the National Society, or Parliament – Albawaba.com
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