French President François Hollande voiced Sunday his "sincere regrets" for the "interpretation" made of his recent remarks on Algeria, affirming that he will "directly" express them to President of the Republic, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, said a release of the French Presidency Office l’Elysée, which a copy was transmitted to APS.
"The few words pronounced Monday (16 December) by President of the Republic as part of the 70th anniversary of CRIF, concerning the visit of Manuel Valls to Algeria, are the subject of groundless controversy," said the French presidency.
"Everyone is aware of the friendship feelings that François Hollande has for Algeria and the big respect he has for its people, as evidenced the State visit he had paid last December (2012) and the speeches he had delivered," the same source added.
On 16 December, President Hollande declared in a jocular tone, before the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions of France (Crif), which celebrated its 70th anniversary, that (French) Interior Minister, Manuel Valls, returned from Algeria "safe and sound." "That’s saying something," he added.
These remarks, made in public, were not well-received by Algiers. Foreign Minister, Ramtane Lamamra, said Saturday that the recent says of President, François Hollande, are "devaluation" of the spirit of the Algerian-French relations.
"It is clear that this is devaluation of the spirit that marks our relations and to the reality of what the French delegations and even others can think of the security situation in Algeria," Lamamra told a news conference after his meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi.