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Xi extends sympathy over passing of Algeria’s former leader

President Xi Jinping sent a message of sympathy to Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune on Monday over the passing of the nation's former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, saying that "the Chinese people have lost an old friend".

In the message, Xi hailed Bouteflika as an outstanding statesman and leader of national liberation movements in Algeria, the Arab world and Africa at large, noting that he made important contributions to the restoration of China's lawful seat in the United Nations.

During his time as Algerian president, Bouteflika actively promoted the growth of China-Algeria relations, deepened friendly bilateral cooperation and enhanced the friendship between the two peoples, Xi said.

China values its traditional friendship with Algeria, and it is willing to work with the Algerian government and its people to expand and deepen bilateral cooperation in various areas and to push for new progress in the China-Algeria comprehensive strategic partnership, he added.

Algeria on Sunday held a funeral in the capital Algiers for Bouteflika, who died on Friday night at age 84.

Tebboune on Saturday ordered flags to be flown at half-mast throughout the country for three days in honor of Algeria's former top leader.

Bouteflika became the Algerian foreign minister in 1963. He scored a landslide victory in the nation's presidential election in 1999 and served as president for four consecutive terms until April 2019.

Xinhua contributed to this story.