Ambassador Richard Erdman
Senior Advisor for Near Eastern Affairs
New York, New York
October 14, 2021
Especially as the U.S. ambassador to Algeria several years ago, who worked closely with President Bouteflika on a number of important issues, I appreciate this opportunity to join with so many others today in paying tribute to former Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. His political career spanned a remarkable transition in Algeria after fighting for Algeria’s independence in the National Liberation Army.
As President of Algeria, Mr. Bouteflika helped bring an end to a brutal decade-long civil war. He led Algeria out of its Dark Decade and provided a measure of compensation for many who suffered during the war.
Algeria, an early proponent of international coordinated efforts against terrorism, was among the first states to condemn the 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States. Guided by Mr. Bouteflika, Algeria became a leader in confronting transnational terrorism in the region and beyond and made important contributions through its participation in NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue.
Throughout his time as President, Mr. Bouteflika was a champion for Africa, throwing support behind regional organizations, most notably the African Union, and encouraging and facilitating mediation and dialogue to help stabilize conflicts in neighboring states.
And so today, the United States recognizes Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s long career as an influential figure in international politics. We extend our condolences and welcome the continued growth of the relationship between the United States and Algeria.