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Vol 40 No 15

Published 23rd July 1999


Algeria

Alger l'Africaine

President Bouteflika's hosting of the OAU summit revived his diplomatic networks

It was a spectacular relaunch for Algeria's foreign policy. Over 2,000 African diplomats and 44 heads of state and government arrived in a freshly painted Algiers for the Organisation of Africa Unity summit on 12-14 July. Hundreds of African musicians played at a carnival named after an old name for the city,'Alger l'Africaine', in the Place des Martyrs. President Abdelaziz Bouteflika re-established Algeria's anti-colonial credentials and marketed the country as a dynamic economy at the junction between Africa, Europe and the Middle East. The grand diplomatic conference and cultural festival was designed to show that his step-by-step national reconciliation strategy was working.

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