Algeria, Iran Re-Establish Diplomatic Relations
Algeria and Iran decided to re-establish diplomatic relations, interrupted since 1993, following a meeting in New York Friday between the presidents of the two countries, the Algerian ambassador at the UN Abdallah Baali said.
The normalization of relations was decided at a meeting between Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and Iran's President Mohammed Khatami, on the sidelines of the UN Millennium Summit, he said.
"They have decided to re-establish their diplomatic relations from today," Baali told AFP.
It was the second such meeting between the two leaders this week. They met briefly on Tuesday, after the Iranian president delivered a speech at an Iranian-sponsored 'Dialogue Among Nations' event, in which he called for the nations of the world to embrace dialogue.
Algiers broke off diplomatic relations with Tehran in 1993, accusing Iran of openly supporting Algerian radical Islamist rebels, whom the Algerian authorities blame for the bloodshed in that country since 1992.
Bouteflika was elected president in April 1999, one day after all the other candidates withdrew from the race alleging electoral fraud in favor of Bouteflika, widely regarded as the army's candidate.
His electoral victory drew a cool response from Tehran, but this year there has been a rekindling of relations between the two countries.
Bouteflika has praised reformist moves by the Khatami administration, while Tehran has supported Bouteflika's bid to bring about national reconciliation in Algeria, which has included an amnesty for Islamist rebels.
The two countries have on a number of occasions found themselves taking similar positions on foreign policy and within the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
In 1979, Algeria expressed support for the Islamist revolution which overthrew the Shah that year, and its subsequent role as a mediator in the Iran-Iraq War from 1980 to 1988 was appreciated by Tehran – UNITED NATIONS (AFP)
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