Macron Says Bouteflika Decision ‘Turns a Page’ in Algeria

(Bloomberg) -- French President Emmanuel Macron said he “salutes” Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s decision not to seek another term as president of Algeria and called for a “transition of a reasonable length.”

Macron, who has faced months of protests back home from the Yellow Vests movement, also said on a visit to Djibouti that he wanted to “salute the dignity” of Algeria’s youth and “underline the professionalism of the security forces” during the Algerian protests.

In a letter released on Monday evening, Bouteflika postponed next month’s election and said he would no longer seek a fifth term, bowing to 18 days of demonstrations. He said presidential elections would be held after a national conference to agree the contours of the next political era.

“We will do everything to accompany Algeria in this transition with friendship and respect,” Macron said.

While France rushed to support protests against the government of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela, it’s been cautious about the events in Algeria, with which it has had a complicated relationship ever since the North African country won independence in 1962 after a bloody struggle. French officials in their few comments had stressed that it was up to Algerians to decide their future.

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