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Algeria closes airspace to French military

Christian Fernsby |
Algeria has closed its airspace to French military planes, France's military said on Sunday, escalating the biggest row between the countries in years.

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A spokesperson for the French Armed Forces said Algeria had closed its airspace to two flights, but that it would have "no major consequences" for operations in the Sahel region, south of Algeria.

On Saturday, Algeria recalled its ambassador to Paris citing comments attributed to French President Emmanuel Macron, who was quoted in Le Monde as saying Algeria's "politico-military system" had rewritten the history of its colonisation by France based on "a hatred of France".

The Algerian government did not specify which Macron comment had prompted the recall of its ambassador, but it accused him of interfering in Algerian internal affairs, Reuters reported.

Macron was also quoted questioning whether there had been an Algerian nation before French colonial rule. Algeria won its independence from France in 1962 after a bloody military struggle.

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