Algeria-Portugal : visit of President Jorge
Sampaio to Algeria: Promising Prospects for Bilateral Economic
Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio arrived on Tuesday 02/12/03
to Algiers for a three-day-state visit aimed at strengthening
President Sampaio's first ever visit to Algeria will enable both
leaders to examine the ways and means to strengthen and extend
the bases of political consultation, as well as the friendship
and cooperation ties between Algeria and Portugal.
Presidents Bouteflika and Sampaio had on Tuesday their first one-to-one
talks, extended thereafter to both delegations.
President Sampaio was accompanied by an important delegation composed
of ministers and a group of some fifty businessmen.
The Algerian-Portuguese exchanges have recorded a continuous growth
in the past years, thanks to the rapprochement between both countries.
If the trade level did not exceed €180 million in 2002, with
a trade balance clearly in favour of Algeria, a dynamic development
is expected, especially with the interest shown by Transgas to
increase imports under the 1994 gas agreement related to the delivery
of 2.4 billion m3 of Algerian gas to Portugal.
Algeria covers today all Portugal's gas needs with exports of
€150 million, while imports reached €50 million, covering
manufactured products such power transformers for Sonelgaz.
The interest of Portuguese investors for Algeria has been conveyed
in their participation in the various international invitations
to tenders launched by Algeria for the realisation of a number
of structuring projects and for aquiring shares in public companies
to be privatised.
Suberue firm took an option to acquire 60 % of the national subsidiary
of cork Teleza, and Alstom Portugal participates with Dragados
in the supply of hydraulic pumping equipment for Beni Haroun station.
Investment opportunities in Algeria were examined during a forum
between the business communities of the two countries prior to
the third session of the Algerian-Portuguese joint commission
scheduled in Lisbon in the 1st quarter 2004.
Visit of Secretary of State Colin Powell to
Algiers on 03/12/03.
U.S Secretary of State Colin Powell paid on 03/12/03 a visit to
Algiers aimed at fostering cooperation between Algeria and the
United States. During his first ever visit to Algeria, Colin Powell
confered with Algerian senior officials on the strengthening of
the Algerian-American relations and international issues of interest
to both countries.
The situation in the Middle East, the latest developments in Iraq
and the war on terror shall also be discussed.
A special interest was granted to the fight against international
terrorism, especially that Algeria is considered by the U.S administration
as an essential partner in the fight against this scourge and
With regard to the bilateral relations, Assistant Secretary of
State to the Middle East, William Burns underlined, in his visit
here last October, that the relations between Algeria and the
United States have never been as good as in the last two years
and have been strengthened in various fields, including the fight
The U.S diplomat also expressed his satisfaction with regard to
the high level of bilateral cooperation which was considerably
reinforced the past four years in the oil and gas, economic, trade,
technological and military fields.
The Secretary of State who led an important delegation made up
of Assistant Secretary of State to the Middle East, William Burns,
and Assistant Secretary of State to Public Affairs, Richard Boucher
conducted a press conference shortly before his departure.
Algeria/Spain: Jose Maria Aznar in Algiers to Reinforce Bilateral
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar arrived on 26/11/03 in
Algiers on a two day working visit where he had talks with P/resident
This visit came in the frame of political consultations set up
in accordance with the framework agreement signed during the state
visit paid by President Bouteflika to Spain on October 8th, 2002.
Spain's Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar's visit, which "confirms
both countries' commitment to make their bilateral relations a
privileged ones has helped both parties assess exhaustively their
political dialogue and cooperation relations.
In this context, both countries expressed their satisfaction with
regard to the "significant progress made" in all fields
and agreed to work together "to develop" their relations.
While putting forward "the climate of friendship and mutual
understanding" which characterised their talks, both sides
commended "the new dynamics" conferred to their relations
after the implementation of the treaty of friendship, cooperation
and neighbourliness signed in October 2002.
They also underlined their "satisfaction" as to "the
level of coordination and cooperation set up between both countries
in the fight against terrorism, as a transnational scourge threatening
the stability and security of the States in the region."
Jose Maria Aznar "Very Satisfied" with the Excellent
Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar of Spain declared that he was
"very satisfied with the excellent" Algerian-Spanish
relations, which "have reached their highest level"
since the signing of the treaty of friendship, cooperation and
"This framework agreement, signed in October 2002 in Madrid
in the course of President Bouteflika's state visit to Spain,
has contributed to strengthen the bilateral cooperation in all
fields," underlined Jose Maria Aznar in a press conference
conducted at the end of the first high level meeting between both
"This treaty shows the excellent state of the relations between
Algiers and Madrid in all fields," he went on, pointing out
that his country has signed such treaties "only with countries
it maintains privileged relations with."
The quality of bilateral relations is due essentially to his personal
relations with President Bouteflika and his efforts for achieving
stability, security and peace worldwide, Aznar put forward.
Beside, the Spanish Premier reiterated his country's support to
the President's efforts for giving concrete expression to the
economic reforms and strengthening stability in Algeria.
Jose Maria Aznar, who hailed the ratification of the partnership
agreement between Algeria and the European Union (EU) and Algeria's
non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council, underlined that
Spain would back this country's access to the World Trade Organization
Touching on economic cooperation, Aznar, "commended"
the high level of trade the past three years and pointed out that
Algeria and Spain have worked together "in the biggest confidence,
complementarity and cordiality, for the interest of both friendly
In this respect, he put forward the interest granted by the Spanish
business circles to invest more in Algeria, which proves, he said
"Spain's confidence in Algeria's future."
As "strategic economic projects," Prime Minister Aznar
mentioned the Med-Gas gas pipeline and the electrical power network
set to connect both countries, then Europe, in the near future.
He also referred to the conversion of the $50 million Spanish
debt into direct investments in Algeria, recalling the financial
agreement signed by both countries in 2000, related to $100 million
of joint credits.
Jose Maria Aznar also reiterated Spain's "clear cut position"
with regard to the Western Sahara issue. "Spain supports
the UN Secretary General's efforts to find a solution to this
conflict that would be accepted by both parties (Morocco and the
Polisario Front), in accordance with the UN peace plan,"
he pointed out.
AMU Foreign Ministers meet in Algiers.
The Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) Foreign Ministers Council met in
Algiers on 22nd and 23rd November 2003 at Algeria's initiative
as part of the 5+5 summit scheduled on December 5-6 in Tunisia.
The meeting was attended by AMU Foreign Ministers Habib Ben Yahia
of Tunisia, Mohamed Benaissa of Morocco, Mohamed Sall Ould Bilal
of Mauritania, Mohamed Chalghem of Libya and Abdelaziz Belkhadem
This meeting which provided a good opportunity for consultation,
exchange ideas and dialogue on issues concerning AMU member countries
ended with the adoption of the document worked out by experts
and examined Thursday by the AMU follow up committee in Tripoli
Algeria/Sudan: Salva Kiir Confers about Peace Negotiations
with President Bouteflika
The Vice-President of Sudan Liberation People's Movement (MPLS),
Salva Kiir pointed out Monday having examined peace negotiations
in Sudan with President Bouteflika. "I have examined with
President Bouteflika Algeria's role in the implementation of the
peace accord in Sudan," Kiir told the press after his audience
with the President.
The MPLS president's special envoy stressed that "the six-year
transition period must be used for the country's reconstruction".
Peace negotiations between MPLS and the Sudanese government will
resume on November 30 in Kenya. Both sides have signed the Machakos
agreement in July 2002.
The agreement provides for a six-year autonomy period for the
southern part of the country, following which a self-determination
referendum will be organised.