Merkel, Algerian PM discuss migration, security by phone

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has spoken to Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal on the phone after her planned trip the North African country was canceled at the last minute over the Algerian president's poor health.

Spokesman Steffen Seibert said Merkel and Sellal talked Tuesday about further increasing the two countries' good relations, including their cooperation on migration and security issues.

Seibert said Merkel also expressed appreciation for Algeria's efforts to help solve the ongoing crisis in neighboring Libya.

Algeria's surprise cancellation of Merkel's visit Monday was blamed on an attack of severe bronchitis suffered by the country's long-ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

The German government wants better cooperation in limiting migration from Africa to Europe and curbing the Muslim extremist violence that has hit Europe in recent times.