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French President Hollande on landmark Algeria visit

Published on Dec 20, 2012 6:34 AM
 

ALGIERS (AFP) - French President Francois Hollande said on a landmark visit to Algeria on Wednesday he had not come to say sorry for crimes committed during colonial rule, but he sought to begin a new era in relations.

"I have not come here... to offer repentance or apologies. I have come to say what is true," Mr Hollande told a news conference on the first day of his trip to the former French colony.

Responding to a question about Algerian demands for French contrition, Mr Hollande said it was important to recognise the truth about France's colonial past and the tragedies that occurred during the 1954-62 war of independence.

But there must also be a "willingness not to let the past block us but on the contrary to work for the future. Once it has been recognised, the past must allow us to go much faster and much further."

 
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