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EU-Algeria Association Council chaired by Minister Rupel

The President of the General Affairs and External Relations Council, Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel chaired the EU-Algeria Association Council in Brussels today. In opening, Minister Rupel stressed that “Algeria is a strategic partner of the European Union” and that it plays an important role in the Euro-Mediterranean area, in the Arab League and in Africa in general. The European Union understands that the reform process in Algeria is a difficult and lengthy one; it wishes nevertheless to establish a genuine partnership with Algeria which will be of mutual benefit. The Association Committee was therefore tasked with preparing a list of practical bilateral measures in the common interest, prioritising economic reform, trade, energy, managing the movement of persons and counter-terrorist measures. Considerable attention at the meeting was devoted to energy issues. In the part of the meeting dealing with political dialogue, Minister Rupel pointed out the EU’s concerns regarding the situation within Algeria, especially new manifestations of terrorism.

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Date: 11.03.2008