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President Raeisi due in Algeria in 1st presidential visit in 14 years

Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi is due in Algeria at the weekend to attend a meeting of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum. (Photo by

President Ebrahim Raeisi of Iran is to visit Algeria over the weekend in a first trip by an Iranian president to the North African country in 14 years.

Iran’s official IRNA news agency said on Wednesday Raeisi will travel to Algiers on March 2 at the official invitation of President Abdelmadjid Tebboune.

The Iranian president is scheduled to attend the seventh meeting of the leaders of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) in Algiers.

IRNA said Raeisi’s trip to Algeria is in line with his administration’s efforts to bolster cooperation with regional and international organizations and to expand relations with Muslim and “like-minded” countries.

It said Raeisi will hold talks with Tebboune in Algiers, adding that high-ranking delegations from the two countries will also negotiate and sign several memoranda of understanding during the trip.

The last time an Iranian president visited Algeria was in September 2010, when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stopped for a few hours in Algiers as part of a regional tour to hold talks with then President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

The GECF was established in 2008 based on an initial proposal by Iran, a country which is one of the world’s largest holders of natural gas reserves and a top producer and consumer of the hydrocarbon resource. The forum has 13 permanent members and seven observers.

Raeisi’s trip also comes on the backdrop of Iran’s efforts to boost relations with countries in North Africa, including Sudan, with which Iran had strained relations in recent years, and with Egypt, a country with no diplomatic relations with Iran since 1979.

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