SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) -- Francois Hollande, the French president, described his country's century of colonial rule in Algeria as "brutal and unjust", but told the Algerian parliament that he will not apologise for France's colonial past.
He was addressing Algeria's parliament to mark the North African country's 50 years of independence, as well as to boost diplomatic and economic ties.
Like his predecessors, Hollande refused to explicitly apologise for acts committed during the French occupation of Algeria.
But he did acknowledge the suffering it caused, saying: "I recognise the sufferings here that colonisation inflicted on the Algerian people. Amongst these sufferings there were the massacres of Guelma and other places of Algeria, and these are on the minds of the Algerian people but also the French people."
So if Hollande will not apologise, how can he build future ties with Algeria? And what does it mean for France's policies across North Africa?
Inside Story asks: Can Algeria and France build better ties?
For the discussion presenter Stephen Cole is joined by guests: Emmanuel Dupuy, the president of the Institute of Prospective and European Security; Saad Djebbar, an international lawyer and political analyst; Nabila Ramdani, a political commentator.