‘France will not apologize for Algeria’
PARIS - Doğan News Agency
Sarkozy (R) shakes hand with supporters in Nice as he arrives at a campaign. REUTERS photoFrench President Nicolas Sarkozy has said France will not apologize for the killings of Algerians during the north African country’s struggle for independence between 1954 and 1962.
Speaking before departing to Nice, a visit which is dedicated in particular to the sensitive issue of “harkis” (the roughly 200,000 Algerian Muslims enrolled as French reserves during the war in the country) Sarkozy said: “France will not apologize for the reciprocal atrocities, but they should be commemorated with respect.”
“Those atrocities, committed by both France and Algeria, should be condemned, but it is not necessary to apologize,” said Sarkozy. Turkey accused France of hypocrisy, after the French parliament passed a law that made it illegal to deny that the mass killings of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire a century ago constituted genocide. The French Constitutional Council canceled the legislation, calling it “unconstitutional.” Sarkozy pledged to continue his insistence on introducing the law in a meeting with the Armenian community in Elysee on March 7.