Germany’s Merkel ‘too busy’ to visit Algeria in 2017

BERLIN, GERMANY – DECEMBER 23: German Chancellor Angela Merkel holds a press conference at the German Chancellery in Berlin, Germany on December 23, 2016. ( Cüneyt Karadağ – Anadolu Agency )

Germany has reportedly declined an invitation for an official visit to Algeria despite insistence from Algiers.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was allegedly none too pleased at the last minute cancellation of her meeting with President Abdelaziz Bouteflika on 20 February. Because of its “busy agenda”, Germany has preferred to decline Algiers’ recent request, according to Algerian press.

This contradicts remarks made by the Algerian presidency just after the cancellation of Merkel’s visit. “The Chancellor, who was reassured about the state of health of the President of the Republic, his Excellency Abdelaziz Bouteflika, reiterated her full readiness to travel to Algeria as soon as possible.”

The visit by the German Chancellor was cancelled two hours before she was due to board her presidential plane. The reason for postponing the visit was due to the “temporary unavailability” of the president due to “acute bronchitis”, it was revealed in a statement.

Ailing president

The “visit will be scheduled again at a date to be agreed by both parties,” the statement explained.

Organising meetings with foreign personalities has proven a growing challenge for the ailing head of state. Other visits have also been postponed or cancelled after Merkel’s, including that of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, which was announced for 9 March, and Alfonso Dastis, the Spanish foreign minister, who was unable to meet the Algerian president during his recent visit to Algiers.


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