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Abdullah bin Zayed UAE - Algeria: Stepping up cooperation

posted on 29/05/2013: 1259 views



H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Foreign Minister, in a statement to the Algerian News Agency on the eve of his official visit to Algeria, has emphasised the strength in relations between the two countries.

"The UAE has a significant relationship with Algeria underpinned by common values and interests. We share a distinguished record of active cooperation ever since we established diplomatic relations in 1974.

Today, our bilateral relations are multi-faceted and growing rapidly. We are regular dialogue partners at the highest levels across government and are like-minded on pressing global issues, regional security and multilateral cooperation. Other areas of major mutual interest and cooperation include trade and investment, energy and security.

"We share a common point of view of urgent international issues, regional security and bilateral co-operation. We both share values of co-operation, stability, a moderate approach and tolerance.

There are frequent high-level visits from both sides. From the Emirati side, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, visited Algeria at the beginning of March, while I had the honour of visiting your dear country in 2012. This year, the UAE has welcomed Algeria's Minister of Defence, Abdelmalek Guenaizia, and the Minister of Interior, Dahou Ould Kablia. Algeria's Minister for Industry, SMEs and Investment Promotion, Cherif Rahmani, visited the UAE this month.

These visits facilitate consultation and cooperation across the broad range of policy issues of common interest. We also benefit from extensive people-to-people links. The UAE is home to almost 10,000 Algerian citizens who live and work in our country. We have ten flights between our two countries which have helped to increase contacts between our two peoples.

"There is no doubt that business is an important driver of the close relationship between our two nations. The 11th meeting of the bilateral Joint Committee concluded recently on the 13th May in Abu Dhabi. This helped to foster our links and during the meeting, several important cooperation agreements related to trade and air and sea transport were signed, bringing us closer together.

Major UAE companies, such as Dubai World, Mubadala, Al Qudra, Arabtec, Aabar Investments and Emaar, have established a presence in Algeria. Last year, our bilateral trade reached US$271 million during the first eight months. We hope that UAE investment in Algeria will increase significantly over the next few years, which would promote prosperity in both countries.

In my discussions with Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal, we will explore ways to expand our strong links for the good of our peoples. Our talks will also focus on important regional questions especially the Middle East peace process and the Syrian crisis.

We are proud of the brotherly relations that link us and Algeria. We are happy to continue developing and strengthening our relationship for the benefit of both our countries and the region as a whole." Graphics available at http://www.wam.ae

UAE - Algerian Relations - The United Arab Emirates and the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria have typically healthy relations which include all aspects of political, economic, investment and cultural cooperation.

These relationships go back to the early seventies, since the second of December 1971, after the announcement of the establishment of the United Arab Emirates, when Algeria was one of the first Arab countries to announce its recognition of the UAE.

At that time, the visits and meetings began between the leaderships of the two countries, through which they established good brotherly relations, focusing on meetings of cooperation and agreement in all fields.

The late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, have exchanged a number of mutual visits with Algerian Presidents since the era of the late President Houari Boumediene and subsequent incumbents, until relations reached a peak in mutual cooperation in the current era of the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the Algerian President Abdulaziz Bouteflika.

The first meeting between the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and the Algerian President Abdulaziz Bouteflika was on 3Ist Aug, 1999.

The close relations between the UAE and Algeria are reflected in two important aspects: the first one is the keen interest of the Presidents of the two countries on expanding elements of cooperation in various fields and the correlation of their views on all Arab and International issues. The second aspect is the active cooperation between the two countries in all investment fields.

President Bouteflika commended the progress being made by the UAE in a short period of time in a statement he made to the Emirates News Agency (WAM) on 39th UAE National Day Anniversary, when he praised the huge achievements achieved by the UAE, especially on political and economic levels.

The Algerian President added that his country exerted efforts to expand and prioritise bilateral cooperation between the two countries and therefore the Algerian government pledged to give extra attention and the required follow-up to UAE investment projects in order to achieve success and create the appropriate atmosphere and circumstances for the mutual benefit of the peoples.

The visits of official delegations have continued between the two countries, during which the most important points for fruitful cooperation have been set up along with the signing of a number of agreements, as well as Memoranda of Understanding (MoU's).

In June 1999, His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, visited Algeria and met with Abdulaziz Bouteflika. He also visited Algeria earlier this year and met with the Algerian President, discussing with him aspects of bilateral relation between the two countries.

Sheikh Mohamed also met with the Algerian Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Energy as well as a number of senior officials.

Last year, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, visited Algeria and met with the Algerian President and senior officials. He discussed with them ways to support cooperation and coordination between the two countries.

The most prominent element of bilateral relations between the UAE and Algeria is the comprehensive economic cooperation between them.

The two countries have signed more than 30 cooperation agreements, including economic, investment, tourism, prevention of double taxation, education, judicial, agriculture, environment, media and many other areas within the framework of the meetings of the joint UAE-Algerian Committee, the last session, which was held in Abu Dhabi on 13th of May 2013, under the Chairmanship of Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy and Kareem Judi, Algerian Finance Minister, in which they discussed the necessity of strengthening bilateral relations between the two sisterly nations, practically on the economic, trade and investment levels and work in order to raise the value of trade exchange and to remove the investment obstacles.

Four agreements and Memoranda of Understanding have been signed during UAE-Algerian Joint Committee meetings. The agreements were on marine transport and ports, an air services agreement, an MoU for setting up a committee to follow up on investment, and an MoU for implementation of the agreement to avoid double taxation.

The two parties have agreed to activate the UAE-Algerian Business Council and arrange exchange visits to become acquainted with available investment opportunities, as well as to set up trade partnerships in both countries.

The two countries also signed an agreement to set up an aluminium smelter in Algeria at a cost of US$5 billion. Gulf Pharmaceuticals Industries (Julphar) laid a foundation stone in Algeria to set up a plant to produce medicines.

UAE exports to Algeria include: oil, consumable commodities, garments, electronics, spare-parts, building materials, vehicles etc., while its imports include dates, lubricants and semi-manufactured materials.

The UAE was one of the first countries to sign agreements with Algeria in the area of telecommunications and international roaming mobile services. Al Thuraya signed an agreement with the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications in Algeria.

Meanwhile, the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development has financed a number of infrastructure, development and service projects in Algeria at a cost of Dh256 million. The projects cover irrigation, electricity and housing.

Regarding cultural relations, Algeria organised cultural weeks in the UAE from 2003 to 2011, while the UAE held reciprocal cultural weeks in Algeria between 2004 and 2011. The events have had a good impact as they brought the two peoples closer to each other.

UAE and Algerian businesspeople and the UAE-Algerian Chambers of Commerce and Industry held meetings in both countries. The meetings resulted in inking customs cooperation and marine agreements. The two agreements have contributed to increasing the volume of trade exchange between the two countries. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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