ALGIERS. — Algeria and Germany on Monday agreed to deepen cooperation and partnership to address prevailing issues of common interest, as part of a short official visit of German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, to Algeria.
Merkel started her visit to Algeria by talks with Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia, in which they discussed bilateral partnership in tackling illegal immigration and fighting terrorism.
The two held a joint press conference after their meeting. Merkel told reporters that “Germany and Algeria have established close and structured security cooperation, including the fight against terrorism.”
She further hailed “the role of Algeria in the establishment of peace and security in a region marked by conflict, including its efforts in crisis resolution in Mali and Libya.”
Merkel noted that Germany and Algeria share convergent views as they both advocate that the resolution of the Libyan crisis should be reached by Libyan themselves rather than by external parties.
She further specified that “it is in the interest of both Algeria and Germany to solve the Libyan crisis, because it is a matter of restoring peace and security in this country which is both neighboring Algeria and close to Europe.”
The controversial issue of illegal immigrants was also on the agenda of her talks with Ouyahia.
He said that Algeria is committed to bringing back home all its nationals who are in irregular situations in Germany.
Additionally, Merkel announced that Germany can contribute to the diversification process of the Algerian economy.
Merkel said that “Algeria, whose revenues depend mainly on hydrocarbons, had to take ‘a difficult road’ in recent years, due to the fall of oil prices.”
Merkel indicated that the two countries had built a partnership in the field of energy, but more progress could be done together.
“Success and progress of this bilateral partnership require an open and free civil society so that talented and creative youth of both countries could participate in this progress,” she added.
Ouyahia said that some 20 partnership documents in economic field are “under discussion” between Algeria and Germany.
“Germany is Algeria’s third partner, as their trade exchange hits around US$4 billion annually,” Ouyahia added.
Merkel concluded the visit by meeting Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. They discussed bilateral partnership and ways of developing in all fields.
The two leaders also exchanged views on major issues of common concern, particularly illegal immigration and cross-border terrorism. – Xinhua