Algeria and Mali on Wednesday vowed to increase security cooperation on their shared border, at the fourth Joint Security Commission which kicked off in Algiers.

“The level of cooperation and exchange between our two nations needs further intensification, mostly as the recommendations that concluded previous meetings have not been implemented thoroughly,” Algerian Interior Ministry’s Secretary-General Salaheddine Dahmoun said in his remarks at the opening of the meeting.

Dahmoun warned that Algeria and Mali were in a region where terrorism was closely linked to organized crime, in particular arms and drug trafficking through organized criminal networks that had established strong relations with terrorist groups.

He further urged the two nations to cooperate more actively and jointly, while mobilizing all means to combat terrorism, crime, extremism, and subversive ideas of terrorist groups, targeting the stability and security of region.

The Algerian official also recalled the threat of the return of terrorist fighters from the Middle East after the defeat of the Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq.

He said that illegal immigration had become a form of organized crime, after “criminal and terrorist networks are using it to target security and stability of Algeria”.

Mali and Algeria have agreed to hold the bilateral border committee, headed by interior ministers of the two countries, in the second half of 2019, said Dahmoun.

For his part, Secretary-General of the Malian Ministry of Security and Civil Safety, Aser Kamate, noted that the challenges facing the two nations were ultimately immense and extensive cooperation must be implemented.

The fourth Algeria-Mali Joint Security Commission is expected to draw up a set of recommendations to better tackle a number of issues, including border security, terrorism, drugs and arms trafficking, as well as illegal immigration. Enditem

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