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Algeria's Bouteflika reshuffles cabinet: presidency

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File picture shows Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika during a press conference at the Presidential Palace in Algiers on May 25, 2010.AFP/File

Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika on Wednesday made a number of senior cabinet appointments, including giving the army chief a top position in the defence ministry, his office said.

The reshuffle of the cabinet headed by Abdelmalek Sellal affects key ministries, including interior, defence and foreign affairs, the presidency said in a statement carried by the national APS news agency.

Tayeb Belaiz, who heads the constitutional council, was appointed interior minister, while General Ahmed Gaid Salah was designated deputy defence minister, while retaining his position as army chief.

Ramtane Lamamra, a diplomat, was named the new foreign minister, and former labour minister Tayeb Louh was appointed new head of the justice ministry.

The reshuffle is the one of the first major actions by the 76-year-old president since he returned home in July following an absence of almost three months in Paris, where he was flown for treatment after suffering a mini-stroke.