Macron defies Algeria’s demand for apology

French President Emmanuel Macron has stated that he does not plan to apologize for France’s colonization of Algeria and its role in the war of independence. In an interview with French weekly Le Point, he stated he does not intend to “ask for forgiveness”, adding “It’s not relevant, and the word [forgive] would break all bonds,”.

As a presidential candidate in 2017, Macron described French colonization as a “crime against humanity”. His statement made headlines in France, and opened the door to normalizing relationship with Algeria on the road to final reconciliation.

However in the last election, Macron downgraded his statements and refrained from offering a state apology for France’s colonial past. Although he condemned the killing of dozens of Algerians by the French police during a 1961 protest in Paris as “inexcusable” in 2021.