Algeria Bans French Military Aircraft Amid Diplomatic Dispute

Algeria has banned French military aircraft from its airspace amid a diplomatic dispute between the two countries, a French military spokesperson said on Oct. 3.

Colonel Pascal Ianni of France told AFP News that the army found out about the ban on Oct. 3 morning when they were filing for flight plans for two planes.

Ianni added that the ban had “slightly impacted” supply flights but “does not affect our operations” in the Sahel region of West Africa.

“This decision from Algerian authorities only affects our logistical flow, and only at the margin,” Ianni said.

France has troops in Sahel as part of its anti-terror mission, “Operation Barkhane,” to help fight against jihadist insurgents in the region.

The ban comes as Algeria’s latest response to tensions over visas and critical comments from French President Emmanuel Macron.

A day earlier, Algeria recalled its ambassador to France, citing “inadmissible interference” in its affairs.

Last week, France slashed the number of visas it grants to citizens of Algeria, as well as Morocco and Tunisia, citing the countries’ refusal to take back illegal immigrants.

Macron also reportedly made critical comments during a lunch at the Elysee Palace, where he met young descendants of those who lived through the war in Algeria.

Le Monde quoted Macron as saying that Algeria’s “official history” has been “totally re-written” and that it was “not based on truths,” but “on a discourse of hatred towards France.”

“Was there an Algerian nation before French colonization? That is the question,” Macron also asked.

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