Kerry opens U.S-Algeria Strategic Dialogue with promise to increase defense cooperation

The U.S.-Algeria Strategic Dialogue kicked off in Algiers on Thursday. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry noted that the conference will focus on "security, political cooperation, and economic and commercial opportunities, education and civil society engagement."
By JC Finley   |   April 3, 2014 at 12:47 PM   |   Comments

April 3 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Algiers for the joint U.S.-Algeria Strategic Dialogue.

In his opening remarks Thursday, Kerry explained that "experts from both parties are going to participate in working groups that are focused on three areas: security, political cooperation, and economic and commercial opportunities, education and civil society engagement."

With regard to security cooperation, Kerry announced, "In the years to come, the United States hopes to partner with Algeria to build a more robust defense relationship based on mutual respect, and obviously ... our shared interests."

The U.S. utilizes the Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Partnership as its "primary vehicle," Kerry said "to support long-term capabilities of the countries in the West and North Africa to face the AQIM threat." That Partnership can, he said, be complemented by an additional cooperative initiative with Algeria.

Kerry concluded his opening remarks with a message from President Barack Obama, that is "very, very anxious to see this working effort, this dialogue produce a stronger relationship."

That cooperation, Kerry joked, does not extend to the World Cup: "our teams may have to clash."

[State Department]

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