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Iran’s Raisi will travel to Algeria, first presidential visit in 14 years

February 29, 2024 at 4:50 pm

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi gives a speech in Tehran, Iran on January 14, 2024. [Iranian Presidency – Anadolu Agency]

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is to head to Algeria on Saturday, a first trip undertaken by an Iranian president to the North African country in 14 years.

According to Iran’s official IRNA news agency, Raisi is to travel to Algiers on 2 March at the invitation of his Algerian counterpart Abdelmadjid Tebboune, where he will also attend and give an address at the seventh meeting of the leaders of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) in the Algerian capital.

Raisi is also scheduled to hold talks with Tebboune aimed at strengthening bilateral relations, and will be accompanied by a high-ranking delegation. The upcoming visit is in line with Tehran’s efforts to bolster cooperation with regional and international organisations and to expand relations with Muslim and “like-minded” countries, the news agency said.

Former president and fellow principlist, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was the last Iranian president to visit Algeria in September 2010, stopping off for a few hours in Algiers as part of a regional tour to hold talks with late president Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

The visit coincides with Iran’s attempts to improve relations with North African countries, particularly Sudan, with which Iran has had strained relations in recent years, and Egypt, a country that hasn’t had diplomatic ties with Iran since 1979.

Despite having a history of rocky relations, Algeria is notable in being one of the few Arab states to have cordial ties with the Islamic Republic – diplomatic relations were resumed two decades ago, after being severed in the mid-90s.

Last August, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said that Tehran is determined to improve bilateral relations with Algeria, ties which he described as “excellent”. The month before, Algerian Foreign Minister Ahmed Altaf in a visit to Tehran, announced that the two countries agreed to ease visa requirements.

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