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Algeria govt ‘ready’ to discuss political change with protesters

Algeria’s government said on Wednesday it is ready for talks with protesters seeking rapid political change. Opposition groups earlier rejected proposed reforms as inadequate. President Abdelaziz Bouteflika on Monday reversed a decision to seek a fifth term in the face of weeks of mass rallies by protesters. The initiative by Bouteflika, who also delayed elections and said a conference would be held to discuss political changes, has failed to satisfy many Algerians, Reuters reported. “Our top priority is to bring together all Algerians,” deputy PM Ramtane Lamamra told state radio. “The new system will be based on the will of the people,” he said, adding participants in a conference to write a new constitution would include mainly young people and women.