ALGIERS, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika received here Sunday the former Qatari ruler, who now has the title, the Father Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, who is on a visit to Algeria.

The audience was also attended by the Speaker of the Council of the Nation (the upper House of Parliament), Abdelkader Bensalah, and Algeria’s Minister of Maghreb, African Union and Arab League Affairs, Abdelkader Messahel.

The Father Emir of Qatar was earlier welcomed upon arrival at Houari-Boumediene International Airport here by Bensalah.

Meanwhile, President Bouteflika on Sunday sent a message of condolence to his Portuguese counterpart, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, following the death Saturday of Portugal’s former president, Mario Soares, at the age of 92.

“It was with a deep emotion and great affliction that I learnt of the death of late Mario Soares, former president of the Portuguese Republic,” said the Head of State in his message.

“Following the death of Soares, Portugal loses a great politician and an emblematic figure, who devoted his life to his country, of which he embodies the fight struggle for freedom, democracy and human dignity.”

President Bouteflika noted “Algeria also loses a friend and ardent defender of just causes, who contributed to the decolonization process of colonies in Africa, managed to earn the respect of international community and left his fingerprint in the history of Portugal”.

“In this painful circumstance, on my behalf and on behalf of the Algeria people and government, I offer through you our heartfelt condolences and deep sympathy to the deceased’s family and relatives.”