Iran FM Calls for Closer Ties with Algeria
Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi on Tuesday called for ongoing contacts and meetings between the officials of Iran and Algeria, reported the official Iranian news agency, IRNA.
"The Northern African countries, particularly Algeria, are of great importance, and cooperation with Algeria is aimed at promoting (the status of) the Islamic ummah (community)," Kharrazi told the visiting speaker of the Algerian national assembly, Abdelkader Bensalah.
He noted that Tehran and Algiers should strenghten the trend toward better cooperation.
Kharrazi also said that all Islamic states should stand united behind the Palestinian Intifada (uprising) against Israel.
The Islamic republic refuses to recognize the legality of the Jewish state.
For his part, the Algerian official said that Iran and Algeria should improve their political, economic, cultural and parliamentary relations.
He said that his country was ready to broaden its bilateral, regional and international ties in connection with Iran.
Bensalah arrived in Tehran on Tuesday, carrying a message for Iranian President Mohammad Khatami.
Upon arrival at Mehrabad International Airport, he told reporters that President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's message for his Iranian counterpart was a message of
“brotherhood, friendship and appreciation.”
During his two-day stay in Tehran, the Algerian Parliament speaker is to meet President Khatami, his counterpart and some other senior officials, said IRNA.
Khatami and Bouteflika decided to re-establish diplomatic ties in September after a meeting on the sidelines of the UN Millennium Summit in New York.
Algiers broke off diplomatic relations with Tehran in 1993, accusing Iran of openly supporting radical Algerian Islamist rebels, whom authorities blame for the bloodshed since 1992.
According to Amnesty International, tens of thousands of Algerians, the vast majority of them civilians, have died in bloodshed that followed the military-backed regime's cancellation of 1992 elections that Islamists were poised to win – Albawaba.com
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