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Khalifa visit to boost relations with Algeria

posted on 17/07/2007: 582 views



President H.H Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan arrived in Algeria yesterday in the second leg of a three-nation tour. Sheikh Khalifa's visit underscores the close bilateral relations between the UAE and Algeria. Relations between the two countries developed steadily during the last five years with officials regularly exchanging visits, the latest of which was a high-profile visit to the UAE by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in April 2005.

While on a visit to the UAE, President Bouteflika participated in the second World Civilizations and Cultures Festival which was held in Dubai. Among UAE officials who visited Algeria recently was Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs. Sheikh Abdullah held talks in March this year with a number of Algerian officials on ways to bolster bilateral cooperation.

As a token of recognition for her enormous contributions in the field of humanitarian works, President Bouteflika awarded the Medal of Atheer to H.H Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the UAE General Women's Union (GWU). The Algerian University also conferred an honorary doctoral degree on Sheikha Fatima as a tribute to her outstanding contributions in women empowerment.

The UAE and Algeria set up a joint ministerial committee in 1984. Since then, the committee held five meetings to contextualise and bolster bilateral cooperation in various fields. The last meeting was held in Abu Dhabi in June this year.

Co-chaired by Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, UAE Minister of Economy and Karim Judi, Algerian Minister of Finance, the joint ministerial committee meetings concluded with six agreements and memoranda of understanding in the areas of higher education, tourism, water desalination, diplomatic cooperation and other areas.

In remarks shortly after the end of the meetings, Sheikha Lubna said the meetings had outlined a legal framework for bilateral cooperation. She expressed her pleasure with the level cooperation between the two countries, noting that UAE real-estate investments in Algeria had risen to a staggering 20 billion US dollars.

Two-way trade between the two countries rose from Dhs.500 million in 2001 to 285 billion in 2005. UAE exports and re-exports to Algeria rose from Dhs.481 million in 2001 to 278 billion 2005. But UAE imports from Algeria dropped from 9 million in 2001 to seven million in 2005. In the area of development, the UAE is a major player in development projects in Algeria. The UAE granted loans worth 870 million for various development projects. (Emirates News Agency, WAM)

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