Algeria recalls its ambassador to France for consultations | Migration news

Relations between the two countries are strained following France’s decision to reduce the number of visas issued to Algerians.

Algeria recalled its ambassador to France for consultations, although the reason was not immediately clear.

The president’s office said on Saturday that a statement on the matter would be released later.

On Thursday, the government announced that it had summoned the French ambassador to Algiers after Paris decided to reduce the number of visas issued to nationals of Algeria and other countries in the Maghreb region in North Africa.

“We are going to reduce the number of visas very significantly,” French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said in Paris on Wednesday.

The number of visas issued for Algeria and Morocco will be reduced by 50 percent, while visas granted to Tunisian nationals will be reduced by two-thirds, he added.

The Algerian foreign ministry described the decision, which France says responds to the refusal of the Maghreb governments to take back illegal immigrants and refugees returned by Paris, as a “unilateral decision by the French government”.

“Unjustified” displacement

Migration has become a major issue in conservative and far-right camps in the run-up to the electoral campaign in France.

On Tuesday, far-right French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen supported the visa cuts with reservations, but suggested that President Emmanuel Macron’s government had waited too long to act.

Le Pen was Macron’s main rival in the 2017 election and is seen as his main opponent.

The Moroccan Foreign Minister on Tuesday described the French decision as “unjustified”.

Nasser Bourita said his country had issued 400 consular documents to Moroccans expelled from France, but the number was limited as many of them refused to take a test for the coronavirus, which is necessary to return to Morocco.

It is “the problem of France, which must face it”, declared Bourita during a press conference in the capital Rabat.

Tunisia has adopted a more conciliatory public position. President Kais Saied’s office said: “We are one of the countries that cooperate in this area and we have excellent relations with France.

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