March 11, 2019 / 7:25 PM / 10 days ago

France says welcomes Bouteflika decision not to seek fifth term in Algeria

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Monday he welcomed Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s announcement that he would not seek a fifth term, after week of mass demonstrations against his rule.

Tens of thousands of people have been demonstrating almost daily against Bouteflika’s decision to stand in the election, rejecting a political system dominated by veterans of an independence war against France that ended in 1962.

Le Drian said in a statement he also welcomed Bouteflika’s decision to “take measures to renew Algeria’s political system”.

“Following large demonstrations, that took place peacefully and in a dignified manner across Algeria, France expresses its hope that a new dynamic that responds to the aspirations of the Algerian people can get under way quickly,” he said.

Reporting by John Irish, Writing Sarah White; Editing by Alison Williams

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