Rabat – A congratulatory message from bedridden Algerian President, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, to his Syrian counterpart, Bashar Al-Assad, on the occasion of the 71st anniversary of Syria’s independence, has sparked indignation among Algerians, leading them to declare that his message does not represent them.
Algerians became irritated after their president claimed to be speaking on their behalf in his message. “On the occasion of the celebration of the 71st anniversary of its independence, I am pleased to address to you, on behalf of the Algerian people and government and on my own behalf, my warmest congratulations and best wishes, praying Almighty God grant you health and happiness,” the message read.
A caricature has emerged on social media, drawn by TSA’s cartoonist, Ghilas Ainouche, showing people carrying banners reading #Not in My Name while gathered in front of their president, who is seated in his wheelchair.
Posted on the artist’s Facebook page, the caricature has received major attention. The comments reveal the anger many Algerians are feeling at their president’s decision to send such a message. Many Algerians wondered how their president could “support Al-Assad, who kills his citizen for the sake of power.”
According to the message, Bouteflika, who has lauded the bilateral relations between the two countries, also expressed his wish to see the Syrian people “achieves their aspirations” for reconstruction within a framework of national harmony and agreement.