Algeria Closes Airspace To French Military Planes

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France’s Military disclosed that Algeria has closed its airspace to French military planes.

A spokesperson for the French Armed Forces said on Sunday that Algeria had closed its airspace to two flights, but that it would have “no major consequences” for operations in the Sahel region, south of Algeria.

Algeria’s government and military were not immediately available for comment on the closure of airspace.

On Saturday, Algeria recalled its ambassador to Paris citing comments attributed to French President Emmanuel Macron, who was quoted in Le Monde as saying Algeria’s “politico-military system” had rewritten the history of its colonisation by France based on “a hatred of France”.

The Algerian government did not specify which Macron comment had prompted the recall of its ambassador, but it accused him of interfering in Algerian internal affairs.

A source in the Algerian government said the comment about Algeria’s existence as a nation had caused particular anger.

Algeria’s ruling elite since independence has been largely drawn from veterans of its war of liberation from France.

“We understand Macron is on campaign and that he wants to get far-right support by all means, such as insulting Algeria’s history… This is unacceptable to us,” a former Algerian minister said.

The row follows the announcement of France, stating that it would slash the number of visas available to citizens of Maghreb countries – drawing a formal protest from Algeria.