Mr. David Newsom, the United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, held two?
Mr. David Newsom, the United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, held two hours of talks on Monday (March 27) with Algerian President Houari Boumedienne and handed him a goodwill message from U.S. President Richard Nixon.
Mr. Newsom is the most senior American official to meet President Boumedienne since Algeria broke diplomatic relations with Washington during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.
Earlier in his four-day visit to Algiers, the U.S. diplomat met with Algerian economic officials about increasing trade between the two countries, currently totalling more than 38 million pounds sterling (about 100 million U.S. dollars) a year.
SYNOPSIS: The Algerian Presidential Palace -- scene of last Monday's important discussions between the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Mr. David Newsom, and the Algerian leader, President Houari Boumedienne. The U.S. diplomat is the most senior American official to meet President Boumedienne since Algeria broke diplomatic relations with the U.S. during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. During the talks, Mr. Newsom gave the Algerian leader a goodwill message from President Nixon. Observers regard the talks as the most important since the two countries severed formal diplomatic links. President Boumedienne accepted Mr. Nixon's message, but restated Algeria's opposition to U.S. policies in the Middle East and Indochina
Earlier in his four-day stay, the Assistant Secretary met with commerce and industrial ministers to discuss trade between the two countries. Present exchanges are expected to rise sharply when Algeria begins long-term sales of natural gas to the U.S. next year.
Later Mr. Newsom told reporters that the U.S. stood ready to resume ties with Algeria or any other Arab nation which broke relations with Washington during the six-day war. Mr. Newsom was in Algeria as part of a five-nation African tour.