Algerian FM slams French commentary on national anthem issue
Algerian Foreign Minister Ahmed Attaf responds to the French Foreign Minister's statements and reminded Paris of its colonial history in a brief ironic statement.
After France made bold commentary following Algeria's decision to revive its complete 1962 national the Algerian Foreign Minister Ahmed Attaf slams Paris for interfering in Algeria's national affairs.
Attaf, in an interview on Wednesday, stated that “[I am] astounded by the fact that the French foreign minister thought she could express an opinion on the Algerian national anthem," adding that “She should have criticized the melody as well. Maybe it doesn't suit her.”
The Algerian National Construction Movement (NCM) strongly objected, on June 19, to the statements made by French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna regarding decisions made by President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, which regulate the conditions and procedures for performing the national anthem in its entirety or in an abbreviated form.
The President of the NCM, Abdelkader Benkirane, stated that the movement considered the statements of the French official to be "provocative" and "unacceptable", adding that they are blatant violations of universally-recognized diplomatic norms and a strong infringement on the principle of respect and non-interference upon which govern the bilateral affairs of sovereign nations.
He further underlined that "such statements from a French official, at this level of representation of the official foreign decision making, contradict the political will of the chief executive of the Elysee Palace to strengthen France's relationship with Algeria and represent a regrettable and disappointing shift from the will to overcome current differences and build a new relationship."
The movement also emphasized that "this condescending tone" and the attempts to undermine the sovereignty of Algeria's national decision come at a time characterized by intentional tension driven by a misleading hostile campaign led by some French elites and political entities against Algeria.
Benkirane's comments came in response to statements made by the French Foreign Minister in an interview with a French channel, in which she expressed her displeasure with the inclusion of a segment in the Algerian national anthem that was directed against France's colonization of the country.
Colonna questioned the reasons that led Algeria to retain the segment while performing the national anthem "Qassaman" during official events and celebrations. She further said that the Algerian anthem "has surpassed its time, and I don't want to comment on a foreign anthem, but this anthem (the Algerian anthem) was written in 1956 in the context and circumstances of colonization and war, and it contains powerful words that refer to France."