Algeria and the U.S. are working as equal partners to promote security and stability, visiting Commander of the U.S. Command for Africa (Africom) General Thomas D. Waldhauser said Wednesday.
“We look forward to exploring future security cooperation activities with Algeria,” General Waldhauser told reporters after he met with Algerian Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel.
“My visit to Algeria is a good opportunity to discuss directly with the Algerian senior officials our common defense and security concerns,” he noted.
For his part, Messahel said the talks were fruitful and an opportunity “to exchanged analysis and experiences in terms of regional security,” adding that Algeria and Africom have to work more closely to further strengthen cooperation on security issues.”
“The two parties discussed bilateral military cooperation, and exchanged analysis and points of view on issues of common interest,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement.
AFRICOM and Algeria have been holding recurrent meetings to coordinate counterterrorism efforts and exchange views over prevailing crisis in Africa.
AFRICOM is one of nine Unified Combatant Commands of the U.S. Armed Forces, responsible for U.S. military operations and military relations with 53 African nations.
Some Algerian opposition parties fear that the U.S. is pressing on Algerian government to accept the establishment of foreign military bases under the authority of AFRICOM in this north African nation, although the government dispels such allegations.
In 2010, Algeria, Niger, Mali and Mauritania established the Joint Military Staff Committee of the Sahel Region (CEMOC) which aims at fighting terrorism and organized crime in the region.
This mechanism is seen also as an argument for the Sahel countries to block any potential foreign intervention in their region. Enditem