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Abdelaziz Bouteflika
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World Leader
    (March 2, 1937- )
    Born in Oujda, Morocco
    Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs (1963-79)
    President of the United Nations General Assembly (1974-75)
    President of Algeria (1999-2019)
    Two years after he was named Minister of Foreign Affairs by Ahmed Ben Bella, he was a prime mover in the coup that overthrew Ben Bella (1965).
    When Carlos the Jackal flew to Algiers with a group of OPEC ministers he was holding hostage, he embraced Carlos at the airport before the pair sat down to negotiate the release of the captives (1975).
    He was convicted of stealing 60 million dinars worth of funds intended for embassies over the course of his diplomatic career (1983).
    He had the constitution amended so he could serve for more than two terms as president (2009).
    After suffering a stroke (2013), he went two years without making public appearances, sparking widespread debate about who was really in charge of the government.
    His announcement that he would seek a fifth term as president triggered massive protests (2019).
    He was forced to resign as the military sided with the protestors (April 2, 2019).
    He provided military training to a young Nelson Mandela.
    He was an unofficial spokesperson for the Third World during the 1960s and 70s.
    He brokered a peace agreement ending the border war between Ethiopia and Eritrea (2000).
    He oversaw the end of Algeria’s decade-long civil war (2002).

Credit: C. Fishel

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