“The majority of journalists have received their visa, however a dozen journalists didn’t,” sources from Elysee told Reuters. “Our goal is that everyone covers the visit, we are doing everything possible to make this happen in coordination with the Algerian authorities.”
Former government spokesman Christophe Castaner referred to the situation as “worrying,” on the set of the show Quotidien on Monday night.
“I think that it’s only logical that the French media accompanies the president,” he said. “We cannot impose on the country that welcomes us a particular policy, but I tell you very clearly: you have all the right to accompany the president of the French republic on his trip.”
In April 2016, journalists from Le Monde and Petit Journal were denied visas for a trip to Algiers with then-Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Shortly before, Algerian authorities had accused some French papers of undermining the honor and prestige of President Bouteflika.
Macron is expected in Algiers Wednesday to meet with Bouteflika for the first time since the French president took office.
Nevertheless, the trip might not actually take place. The 80-year-old Bouteflika has made few public appearances following a stroke he suffered in 2013. Since then, several planned meetings with heads of states have been cancelled due to his deteriorating health conditions.
In March, Iranian President Hassan Rohani postponed a visit to Algeria because of the “temporary unavailability” of the Algerian president, explained the Algerian state-run news agency.
In February, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to Algeria was also cancelled at the last minute.