(born Aug. 23, 1927, near Guelma, Alg.—died Dec. 27, 1978, Algiers) Algerian political leader and president (1965–78). During Algeria's fight for independence, he helped raise an Algerian army in the safety of Morocco and Tunisia. He deposed President Ahmed Ben Bella in 1965. His policies in the 1970s created tensions with Morocco and France, but he also negotiated important industrial contracts with Western nations and cultivated close relations with the Soviet bloc, becoming a leading figure in the nonaligned movement.
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