French President Francois Hollande had his eyes firmly fixed on the future – not the past – as he began a two-day visit to Algeria.
Hollande flew in to the former French colony with senior executives from some of France’s top firms in tow, all of them keen to boost trade ties.
He and Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika were greeted by hundreds of locals in the capital Algiers.
But the 58-year-old Hollande refused to apologise for France’s colonial past.
The killing of hundreds of thousands of people during the eight year Algerian war, just before independence, has left deep scars in both countries.
Many French people who fought against Algerian insurgents oppose the idea of apologising.
Hollande is due address the Algerian parliament later on Thursday, months after the 50th anniversary of independence from France.