President Abdelmadjid Tebboune returned to Algeria on Tuesday and appeared on television after a two-month absence in Germany, where he received treatment for COVID-19.
“It is hard to be far from one’s country and even harder for someone who has a lot of responsibility,” Tebboune said, according to footage broadcast after he arrived from Berlin at around 6:00 pm (1700 GMT).
Seemingly in good health, Tebboune, who looked to have regained weight since his last television appearance over two weeks ago, was greeted by several senior Algerian officials, including Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad and army chief of staff Said Chengriha.
The president spoke briefly, wishing “a happy new year to all Algerians,” “much better than 2020,” and implying that he was almost cured of the virus.
He made his last televised appearance on December 13, looking visibly thinner after weeks in treatment, saying he was “on the road to recovery” and would return soon.
Tebboune, aged 75 and a heavy smoker, was hospitalized in Germany on October 28, and Algerian authorities later announced that he had the COVID-19 illness.
He had finished his treatment and left hospital at the end of November, but extended his stay in Germany for a period of convalescence.