Algerian leader appears on TV amid health queries

AP News
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Posted: Oct 08, 2014 3:44 PM

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Algeria's ailing president has made a brief appearance on television amid growing concerns over his absence from public life.

Abdelaziz Bouteflika, 77, was shown on the evening news Wednesday for about 15 seconds greeting veteran U.N. diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi. The leader appeared tired and his voice was barely audible.

Despite being elected for a fourth term in April, Bouteflika has been largely absent from public life since suffering a stroke in 2013.

He has made only brief television appearances in the past months and was absent when a French tourist was kidnapped and beheaded by extremists in September and when a plane crashed over the summer.

The president's weakened appearance has spawned rumors over whether he is still fit to govern this oil-rich U.S. ally in the war on terror.