Early Algerian foreign policy caused it direct conflict with the Western powers as it struggled against colonialism. Since the latter 1970s, however, Algeria has determinedly pursued a policy of nonalignment that has facilitated relations with the West. Economic and political liberalization have likewise reduced the barriers inhibiting diplomatic relations with Europe and the United States. As Algeria moved toward a free-market economy and liberal democratic polity, its diplomatic objectives shifted away from the Soviet Union and toward the West. In a rather surprising turn of events, the military coup that upset the Algerian democratic experiment was tolerated, even approved of, by the West.
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