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Blinken, Tebboune Discuss Algeria-Morocco Dispute

Blinken, Tebboune Discuss Algeria-Morocco Dispute

Thursday, 31 March, 2022 - 07:15
Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune receiving US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken (APZ)

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken praised the “solid” Algerian-US relations during his meeting with Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune on Wednesday in Algiers.

Tebboune received Blinken at the presidential headquarters, accompanied by a diplomatic delegation.

Blinken conveyed the US administration's desire to end the tension between Morocco and Algeria over the Sahara, pointing to fears it could impact the energy supplies from the region to Europe in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Algeria is one of Europe's leading suppliers of energy.

After severing its relations with Morocco last August, Algeria did not renew the contract for the Maghreb-Europe pipeline that links Algeria to Spain and runs across Morocco.

In brief remarks to reporters at the US Embassy in Algiers, Blinken noted that trade exchange between Algeria and the US was estimated at $1.2 billion at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and reached about $2.2 billion by the end of 2021.

The US Secretary said the goal is to reach $6 billion in investments and trades, announcing that the US will be the guest of honor for the "Algeria International Fair" next June.

According to unnamed sources, the talks agreed on the need to find a peaceful solution to the crisis in Libya, confront terrorism in the Sahel, and continue to support local governments in the effort to monitor the borders.

Blinken, accompanied by journalists from 12 US media organizations, praised the cooperation with Algeria in the fight against ISIS and al-Qaeda extremists operating in the Sahel region.

The talks also addressed the war in Ukraine, and Blinken stressed that Russia must stop its attack on Ukraine.

Blinken said Western governments would take more sanctions to discourage Moscow from continuing its occupation of Ukraine.

Algeria, Russia's ally, remained neutral in this crisis, adopting the same socialist approach since its independence in 1962.

For his part, Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra said he was delighted with the fruitful session he had with Blinken.

"We focused on the promising opportunities to strengthen our bilateral partnership while advancing our commitment to promote peace and stability at the regional and international levels in line with our shared values and interests," tweeted the foreign minister.

The US Deputy Secretary of State, Wendy Sherman, had visited Algeria on March 10, where she met President Tebboune and Lamamra.

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