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After Rabat said it is not commenting on protests, Algeria warns against «hostile foreign sides»

Protests in Algeria have pushed President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to drop his plans to run for a third presidential term. Responding to angry protesters, the president and the chief of staff of the Algerian People's National Army warned against «hostile foreign sides».

Protests in Algeria./Ph. DR
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On Monday, March the 18th, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and the chief of staff of the Algerian People’s National Army addressed Algerians, warning against the interference of «foreign parties» in the country’s domestic affairs.

In a letter published by the country’s press agency, Bouteflika announced that the «National Conference», created to answer the needs of Algerian protesters, «will issue crucial decisions» in the very near future. «This qualitative step will be endorsed by a comprehensive and deep revision of the Constitution, which will be put to a public referendum», said the 82-year-old President.

However, by the end of his long message addressed to Algerians on the occasion of the celebration of the Victory Feast on March, 19th, Bouteflika said that Algeria’s «security and stability appeal to a people that live up to their social, economic and cultural aspirations».

He stressed that the Algerian Army will «protect the country from the external dangers, and enjoy peace and stability», referring to foreign parties.

Hostile foreign sides

On the same day, the Deputy for National Defense and Chief of Staff of the People’s National Army Ahmed Gaid Salah said, Monday, that the «Algerian people have the necessary capacities to spare the country ‘any situation that could be exploited by hostile foreign sides'».

Speaking on the same occasion, Salah warned Algerians against the «foreign sides» that could, according to him, exploit the current situation in the country.

The statement of both President Bouteflika and Salah come as Morocco announced, the weekend, that it is not «interfering in Algeria’s internal affairs», amid protests in the country.

On, Saturday, Moroccan Foreign Affairs Minister said that «Kingdom has decided to take a position, not to intervene in the recent developments in Algeria, and not to make any comments on the matter».

«Morocco has neither right to intervene in the internal developments that Algeria is witnessing nor to comment on them in any way», the Minister said.

Bourita’s response came after French media reported that «Rabat has issued positions on what is going on in Algeria and that it has been coordinating with Paris on developments in this country», media reports said.

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