Algerian President in Canada for Economic Cooperation Talks

Published May 16th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika arrived in Canda Sunday for the start of a five-day official visit that officials say is likely to focus on economic issues, reported AFP Tuesday. 

The president was greeted by Governor General Adrienne Clarkson, Queen Elizabeth II's representative as head of state in Canada, and a 21-gun salute. 

Bouteflika said the visit “is intended to consolidate this friendship and to extend the field of our cooperation,” quoted by ArabicNews.com. 

"Algeria cannot forget Canada's attitude of understanding during these last years, which were marked in our own country by the growth of terrorism and insecurity, resulting in our country's loss of the honorable place that it has been holding on the international scene," he said at the welcome ceremony. 

Bouteflika is due to meet with Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien Monday and travel on to Montreal for an international conference on Africa and the Middle East. 

He will wrap up his visit with a trip to Toronto, Canada's largest city. 

According to AFP, Algeria is already Canada's biggest commercial partner in Northern Africa and the Middle East with Canada exporting goods worth more than 475 million dollars (318 million US) last year and importing Algerian goods worth nearly 654 million dollars (428 million US) – (Several Sources) 

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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