France ends visa dispute with Algeria linked to migration

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — France on Sunday announced the end to a visa dispute with Algeria, amid efforts to mend relations with North African neighbors.

After meeting Algerian officials on a visit to Algeria, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said consular relations will “return to normal.”

France announced last year that it would significantly reduce the numbers of visas being granted to Algerian, Moroccan and Tunisian nationals. France said it was because the North African governments refused to provide consular documents for their citizens being deported from France after arriving illegally.

The French move deeply angered North African officials and complicated cooperation in other spheres.

Earlier this year, France announced a resolution of the dispute with Tunisia. On Friday, France’s foreign minister announced a return to normal consular relations with Morocco.

Darmanin visited Algeria this weekend and announced a renewed “visa relationship and exchanges between our populations, in line with the extremely strong, friendly relations between France and Algeria.”

He said he also discussed security cooperation between the countries.