The United States and the European Union have called on the Algerian authorities to respect the rights of Algerian people to peaceful protest, freedom of assembly and of speech as the oil-rich country is rocked by popular protests against the candidacy of ailing and absent Pdt Abdelaziz Bouteflika for a fifth term.
In Washington, in the first of its kind, the US State Department yesterday called on the Algerian authorities to respect the right to demonstrate.
"We are watching these demonstrations in Algeria and we will continue to do so," ministry spokesman Robert Paladino told reporters, adding that his country "supports the Algerian people and their right to peaceful demonstration."
The US spokesman did not address the motives of the protests, which have been going on for about two weeks, nor the candidacy of Bouteflika, which was officially confirmed last Sunday.
For its part, the European Commission called on the Algerian authorities to respect freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly, referring to the protests that took place in most parts of Algeria, describing it as the largest since those in the Arab world in late 2010 and early 2011.
The Constitutional Council of Algeria is the body empowered to decide on the presidential nomination file, said UNHCR spokesperson Maya Kucianic.
"For the demonstrations, the Algerian Constitution provides for the right to freedom of expression and assembly, and we hope to respect the right to peaceful exercise of these rights and to ensure them within the framework of the state of law and law," Kucianic added.
"In general, we emphasize the importance of the partnership between Algeria and the European Union, and renew our commitment to strengthen these relations in order to create a common space of peace, security and stability."
This joint European position comes after France expressed two days - in a single position - the hope that the Algerian presidential elections will be held in the best conditions.
The demonstrations were attended by tens of thousands of people. The Algerian security forces were calm and there were no reports of violence, except for limited confrontations last Friday on the sidelines of a large demonstration in Algiers in which dozens were injured.