The French Government's special envoy Herve Alphand, in a meeting in Algiers on Thursday (15 April), told Algerian Foreign Minister Abdel-aziz Bouteflika that the special relationship between the two countries had come to an end.
The French Government's special envoy Herve Alphand, in a meeting in Algiers on Thursday (15 April), told Algerian Foreign Minister Abdel-aziz Bouteflika that the special relationship between the two countries had come to an end. The French decision, stemming from 17 months of haggling over oil supplies, means that henceforth the French Government will deal with its former colonial territory in North Africa, on the same strictly business basis it applies to any other nation.
The new French position will mean the end of preferential trade ties and possibly the special status granted to the 500,00 Algerians now working in France.
The stiffer French line was take non Wednesday (14 April) by President Pompidou following new Algerian moves in the oil dispute. Algerian President Houari Boumedienne, who in February partially nationalised French oil interests in Algeria, this week unilaterally fixed compensation levels and set a higher posted price for Algerian oil. The compensation figures were less than the most pessimistic French estimates.
The moves were made during on-and-off negotiations for a new oil agreement were in progress between the two countries.
France's response has put forward the view that he 1962 Evian cooperation accords between the two countries are finished. The accords, which granted independence to Algeria, brought an end to years of blood-shed between the Algerians and French troops sent to put down their rebellion. The accords also brought into being France's close relationship with Algeria.
Franco-Algerian cooperation was once hailed as a model of its kind between a newly-independent country and its former colonial power. The cornerstone of this cooperation was laid down in July, 1965 when the two countries signed the state oil treaty which has now collapsed.
In Paris it was reportedly felt that there were slim prospects for further negotiations with the French Government. It was felt that President Boumedienne had removed such prospects by his unilateral actions.