Friday, 12 July 2013
European Commission President visits Algeria
The European Commission President José Manuel Barroso arrived in Algeria on Saturday 6 July for a two-day visit. He began by meeting Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal to discuss bilateral ties and issues of mutual interest.
The most significant outcome of his visit was the 7 July signing by Sellal and Barroso of an MoU between Algeria and the EU on energy. It seeks to boost the excellent energy co-operation between the two sides and open promising development prospects. It covers all aspects of co-operation in energy - both conventional and renewable energies - including technology transfer, expertise and management. Barroso said that the EU also wanted to establish closer ties with Algeria in the economic and political fields. “We are very interested in having even closer ties [with Algeria]. My visit aims at strengthening ties in the field of political dialogue and economic co-operation.”
Barroso said before his departure on Monday that economic development and bilateral trade would help ensure stability in the broader Maghreb region. “We believe that enhanced regional co-operation would bring benefits in terms of prosperity and security, both for the countries of the region and the European Union,” he said. With reference to the In Amenas terrorist attack, he said the EU is committed to stability in Algeria. “Algeria is a key partner for the EU, both at the bilateral and regional levels … Natural gas is a strategic issue for both parties: Algeria is a major supplier to Europe, while Europe is by far the largest customer of Algeria.”
For more news and expert analysis about Algeria, please see Algeria Focus and Algeria Politics & Security.
© 2013 Menas Associates