West German Chancellor, Willy Brandt, arrived in Algiers on Friday (19 April) for three days of talks with President Houari Boumedienne -- a dialogue between Europe and the Arab world.
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GV Brandt exits aircraft and greeted by Boumedienne
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Background: West German Chancellor, Willy Brandt, arrived in Algiers on Friday (19 April) for three days of talks with President Houari Boumedienne -- a dialogue between Europe and the Arab world.
Herr Brandt was the first European leader to visit Algeria since it wrested independence from France 12 years ago.
The West German Chancellor and his party of twenty top-level government officials were greeted with a 21-gun salute, and started talks with President Boumedienne within one hour of their arrival.
The initial 45-minute round of talks, held at the People's Palace in central Algiers, was to prepare for further talks later that day and the following day.
The planned dialogue between Europe and the Arab world on political and economic co-operation dominated the talks.
Algeria is reported to be seeking a neutral path between the super powers by strengthening its ties with Europe. But the West German Chancellor was reported to be cautious about jeopardising his country's ties with the United States, for the sake of the so-called dialogue.
West German-Algerian diplomatic relations were broken by Algeria in 1965 (following West Germany's recognition of the state of Israel) but were restored in December 1971. Since then, relations have improved considerably, and West Germany is now Algeria's biggest foreign market.
Herr Brandt was expected to go on to Cairo on Sunday (21 April) for three days of talks with President Anwar Sadat, before returning home.