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Algerian Leader Bouteflika Ill

politics

Feb 21, 2017

 

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika  of Algeria is ill again, suffering from acute bronchitis.

His new illness made him to cancel a scheduled meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

According to Algeria’s state news agency APS, Merkel was due to visit Algeria on Monday as part of a trip to North Africa.

“The visit will be reprogrammed at a date that is suitable for the two parties,” the presidency said.

In Berlin, the chancellor’s office said: “The Algerian government asked at the last minute that the visit be called off” and Merkel had accepted.

Merkel had been due to arrive in the capital at 1700 GMT as part of efforts to get North African countries to reduce the flow of migrants across the Mediterranean into Europe.

Bouteflika, who suffered a stroke in 2013, is now rarely seen in public, mostly appearing in state media for meetings with visiting dignitaries. He has also travelled to France several times for treatment.

He became Algeria’s fifth president in 1999 and the longest serving leader.

He was Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1963 to 1979.

As President, he presided over the end of the bloody Algerian Civil War in 2002, and he ended emergency rule in February 2011 amidst regional unrest. He has also served as president of the United Nations General Assembly.

He will be 80 years old on 2 March, 2017.


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