Monday, 23 April 2012

Libyan leader visits Algiers

Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil and fellow NTC member, Salem Messaoud Kenane, arrived in Algiers on Sunday 15 April for a two day visit. At the end of talks on Monday 16 April, Abdel Jalil said that he was confident that Algeria would not shelter anyone who poses a threat to his country, in a reference to Mu'ammar Qadhafi's family members who were granted asylum by Algiers.

"We appreciate the humanitarian position of Algeria for hosting the families, including women and children, but we are convinced that it would not shelter those who represent a threat for Libya's security," said Abdel Jalil after meeting President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. He went on to say: "We agreed that what constitutes a threat for Libya through financing or through subversion would not have a place in the Algerian territory."

Several of Qadhafi family members, including his widow Safiya, firebrand daughter Aisha, and sons Mohamed and Hannibal, fled to Algeria in late August. Algeria has twice had to reprimand Aisha for calling on Libyans to revolt against the transitional council which overthrew her father. Libya has been calling for the repatriation of Aisha and other members of the Qadhafi clan. According to media reports, however, Abdel Jalil does not appear to have publicly made such a request during his visit to Algiers.

Instead he underlined the "deep historic relations" between the two countries. In a joint statement quoted by the Algerian Press Service (APS) the Libyan and Algerian officials agreed to cooperate on security issues and fight extremism. The cooperation will include the fight against organised crime, arms and drug trafficking, clandestine migration and smuggling. How effective such cooperation will fare in practice is highly debatable, especially as security in Libya's southern and many other border regions is seemingly in the hands of militias whose loyalty to and concern for any central authority is highly questionable.

For more news and expert analysis about Algeria, please see Algeria Focus and Algeria Politics & Security.

© 2012 Menas Associates

No comments:

Post a Comment