Algeria's Bouteflika Concludes Official Visit to Canada

Published May 19th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika left Canada late Thursday at the end of a five-day official visit that focused on economic cooperation. 

Bouteflika, the first Algerian president to make an official visit to Canada, met with Prime Minister Jean Chretien and discussed bilateral trade. 

He then took part in an economic conference in Montreal, which is home to most of the 25,000 Algerians who live in Canada. 

At the conference, Bouteflika criticized globalization, saying that the "well-endowed" countries had a "duty of solidarity towards the poor countries which have largely contributed to the enrichment of the west."  

He also called for the lifting of "inhuman" economic sanctions against Iraq. 

Bouteflika, 62, was elected in April 1999 after all six opposition candidates announced on the eve of the vote that they would not be standing, in protest at what they said would be electoral fraud. 

He later announced a truce for Islamist rebels and has attempted, despite ongoing sporadic violence at home, to restore Algeria's profile as third world leader -- an echo of the 1960s and 1970s, when he served as foreign minister in the government of President Houari Boumedienne. 

Bouteflika told an RDI television interviewer here that Algeria's internal security problems were "90 percent" resolved, but added that the situation still "kept him on tenterhooks." -- TORONTO (AFP)  

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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