Pompeo, Messahel Discuss Algeria Elections, Sahara Security
Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdelkader Messahel met on Tuesday with US Secretary of State Michael Richard Pompeo at the State Department in Washington.
The meeting tackled development of bilateral cooperation, as well as security affairs, the fight against terrorism and the upcoming elections in Algeria.
Both parties also discussed a number of regional issues of common interest, the latest developments in the file of the disputed Sahara region between Morocco and Polisario movement and the outcomes of negotiations that were held in Geneva in December.
Pompeo and Messahel co-chaired on Monday the fourth Algerian-US Strategic Dialogue session and agreed to continue cooperation to reach their common goal to achieve regional stability and defeat terrorist organizations, including al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and ISIS.
They expressed their strong support for increasing trade cooperation and strengthening economic partnership, as well as reaching understandings in the fields of educational exchange and protection of cultural heritage.
Messahel’s meeting with his US counterpart coincided with the Security Council meeting on the Sahara to discuss the latest developments.
UN Western Sahara envoy Horst Koehler was set to brief the Council on developments in the Sahara and outcomes of the Geneva talks.
Morocco, Polisario, Algeria and Mauritania held the two-day talks after six years of halted negotiations.
Although they did not reach any result or understanding, the final communiqué confirmed the commitment of the parties to continue the talks, which could eventually lead to direct negotiations.
But so far, none of the parties involved in the conflict has shown any change in its positions.
Washington praised the resumption of direct talks.
It stressed the need to link the renewal of the UN Mission in Western Sahara’s (MINURSO) mandate with "substantive political" progress in the negotiations.