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An Algerian government minister said French President Nicolas Sarkozy came to power by a “Jewish lobby.”

Algeria’s minister for veterans, Mohamed Cherif Abbas, was quoted Monday in the Algerian daily El Khabar. He also referred to Sarkozy’s “origins” — his maternal grandfather was Jewish.

Sarkozy is scheduled to visit Algeria next week, his second visit to the former French colony since taking office. A friendship treaty between the two countries has been delayed.

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