Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Algeria PM, army chief visit president in Paris hospital

By AFP

ALGIERS

Algeria's prime minister and army chief of staff on Tuesday visited President Abdelaziz Bouteflika at the hospital in Paris where he is convalescing after suffering a mini-stroke, state television announced.

"Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal and the Chief of Staff of the people's national army Ahmed Gaid Salah paid a visit to President Abdelaziz Bouteflika at the Institution des Invalides in Paris," the broadcaster said.

The TV channel gave no further information and provided no images of the first such visit since Bouteflika was flown to France for treatment at the end of April.

The broadcaster then read the health bulletin that had been issued earlier by the Algerian president's doctors in Paris and published by the national APS news agency.

It said Bouteflika had suffered a transient ischaemic attack, or mini-stroke, on April 27, which had "not affected his vital functions," and that he had been transferred to a Paris hospital for further tests.

After the tests, "his doctors recommended that he observe a period of convalescence and functional rehabilitation to consolidate his recovery," it added.

Tuesday's announcement, as well as official reassurances by Sellal on Sunday and Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci on Monday, appear designed to quash the growing speculation about the 76-year-old president's condition both in Algiers and Paris.

Bouteflika health has been a source of conjecture in Algeria since 2005 when he had surgery at the same Paris hospital for a bleeding stomach ulcer, according to officials, and spent a long period convalescing.

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