Algeria’s counterterrorism experience sparks interest of many partners, says Messahel

March 2nd, 2017

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APS : Wednesday, 01 March 2017

ALGIERS-Minister of Maghreb Affairs, the African Union and the Arab League said Tuesday Algeria’s experience in counterterrorism sparked the interest of many foreign partners.
“Algeria has gained experience in the fight against terrorism. This experience sparks the interest of many partners,” stated Messahel on the national radio.
“Algeria has adopted a strategy to combat this scourge through the efforts made” by the People’s National Army (ANP) and various security services, citizens’ involvement as well a the measures and policies launched since the election of President of the Republic Abdelaziz Bouteflika in 1999, like the policies of Rahma (clemency) civil concord, and especially national reconciliation.
As regards deradicalization, Messahel stressed Algeria’s approach had been presented for the first time in the United States at the Summit chaired by Barack Obama on radicalization and fight against foreign fighters.
This approach consists in “explaining the means to avoid radicalization and showing the advantages of deradicalization,” he said.
“Deradicalization” is the fight against exclusion, stated Messahel, highlighting “the mechanisms and measures taken by President Bouteflika, especially through the law on national reconciliation.”
In this regard, Messahel referred to “the very genuine policies implemented by the state on restoration of our traditional Islam, the worship and cultural role played by mosques, their depoliticization and de-ideologization…”
The minister said “connection is always made between radicalization, terrorism and foreign fighters. This is why there are few Algerians, some dozens, in the ranks of Daesh (ISIS) or in conflicts in Syria or elsewhere.”
As part of counterterrorism, Algeria has favoured “deradicalization” as a key factor and opted for democracy.
For Messahel, “democracy is a strategic choice for Algeria and all partners have witnessed this. This is not a fad or fashion effect.”
“If you want to fight against extremist speech, you have to favour democracy and democracy has been strengthened in Algeria, which also managed to restore its stability. We defeated terrorism but we remain vigilant. The Army is very vigilante and security services fulfil their missions. Algeria has beaten terrorism,” affirmed Messahel.