ALGIERS, Algeria, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- The state of emergency in Algeria will be lifted soon, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika said in response to anti-government protesters.
Bouteflika's announcement Thursday did not include a timetable for repealing emergency laws, which he said were imposed in 1992 "for the only purposes of the fight against terrorism, and it is this reason only which has justified maintaining it on a legal basis," the BBC reported.
Algeria, as with other African and Middle Eastern countries, has experienced a swell of demonstrations by anti-government protesters calling for greater freedoms.
Bouteflika said protests would be permitted throughout the country except in Algiers, the capital. His announcement came during a meeting with government ministers, state-run media reported.
Public demonstrations are banned in Algeria, which underwent a grueling fight with Islamic militants in the 1990s, the BBC said.
Algeria's state-run media also reported Bouteflika as urging his ministers to adopt measures that would promote job creation and would grant airtime to all political parties.
The BBC said opposition leaders plan to conduct a protest march in Algiers next week.