APS : Saturday, 20 January 2018
ALGIERS-Algeria and Nigeria have expressed their “willingness” to revive bilateral relations and “deepen” multifaceted cooperation following the working session held Saturday
between Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel and his Nigerian counterpart Geoffrey Onyeama.
“We are keen to strengthen our multifaceted relations, notably in the fields of security, economy and infrastructure,” Onyeama told the press after his meeting with Messahel.
In this regard, Onyeama advocated the revival of the High Joint Cooperation Commission. “We will examine with our Heads of State the possibility of reorganizing the structure of this commission to achieve the goals we have set and build win-win cooperation.”
The Nigerian FM said that his meeting with Messahel also focused on bilateral political consultation at the continental and international levels with a view to taking “common positions” both at the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN).
“We also focused on security issues and counterterrorism because both countries are facing terrorism,” said the Nigerian official, stressing the importance of exchanging experiences in this area.
As regards economy, the Nigerian minister stated that he discussed with Messahel the projects of the gas pipeline, the trans-Saharan road and the optical fibre linking the two countries, calling these projects “very important” to strengthen bilateral cooperation “under a vision of a more integrated Africa able to achieve development.”
For his part, Messahel affirmed that his meeting with his Nigerian counterpart was “very important and fruitful because it allowed both sides to broadly assess bilateral cooperation.”
“We reviewed particularly all cooperation fields, particularly the legal aspects,” affirmed Messahel, recalling the existence “of more than twenty agreements between the two countries. It is time to implement the decisions taken by both countries’ Heads of State.”
Referring to the High Joint Cooperation Commission, the Algerian FM stated that the two countries would “rethink the format of this joint commission”.
In this regard, he noted that “we share the willingness to give a particular aspect to bilateral cooperation between Algeria and Nigeria.”
Moreover, Messahel said that the meeting was an opportunity to review “the structuring projects between Algeria and Nigeria, like the gas pipeline and the trans-Saharan road.”
In the regard, Messahel referred to other prospects for economic cooperation between Algeria and Nigeria, stating that “meetings have already taken place, agreements have been signed between both trade chambers and businessmen of the two countries exchanged visits with a view to boosting relations.”
Furthermore, “we discussed the situation at the regional level as the two countries share the same space and face common security challenges, including migration, conflict and all kinds of traffic,” said the FM, stressing that “Algeria and Nigeria are strongly coordinating to address these challenges.”
As for the African continent, Messahel said he discussed with his Nigerian counterpart “the the issues of Western Sahara, South Sudan, the conflict in Libya and the situation in Mali,” highlighting a “convergence of views on these issues and a future coordination on the sidelines of the next AU summit.”
Concerning international issues, discussions focused on “the situation in Syria, Yemen and Iraq,” he said.
“Algeria and Nigeria, whenever there is an opportunity, consult each other and exchange views and we act together,” affirmed the Foreign Minister.
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