Algeria's ailing Bouteflika makes first appearance in month

FILE PHOTO: Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika during a swearing-in ceremony in Algiers. Photo: Reuters

ALGIERS, Algeria - President Abdelaziz Bouteflika appeared on television Sunday for the first time since a visit by Germany's chancellor was called off last month because of the Algerian leader's ailing health.

State television showed the 80-year-old president receiving Algeria's minister for African Union and Arab League affairs, Abdelkader Messahel.

On February 20, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called off a scheduled visit to Algiers at the last minute because the veteran president was suffering from "acute bronchitis".

Bouteflika won re-election in 2014 to serve a fourth term, despite having suffered a mini-stroke the previous year that has affected his speech and mobility.

He has been confined to a wheelchair since the stroke, meeting foreign guests at his home in Zeralda west of the capital and making few public appearances.


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