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Lecture of Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci

11-12-2011, 14:20

 

Mr. Oganesyan,

Excellencies, honourable guests, ladies and gentlemen,


Let me first of all express my gratitude to you for the honor you have granted me to address this distinguished forum of the "international life" magazine.  I present my warmest congratulations on your 57th anniversary, as well as our appreciation for the quality and depth of your research and analysis so informative and relevant in a rapidly changing and sometimes uncertain international context.

By your ideas, you accurately extend the quotation of the most illustrious Russian man of Letters, Alexander Pushkin, who used to say, "A lexicon is enough to contain all the words, but for a thought even infinity is not enough".

My presence in Moscow on the kind invitation of my friend, the distinguished Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergei Lavrov, is a very good omen for strengthening the historical roots of the friendly relations between our two countries and opens a way towards the achievement of the exceptional cooperation called for by the strategic partnership we established in 2001 in Moscow.

Our political dialogue that has  marked at all times with the seal of mutual trust and density, as witnessed by our discussions of yesterday, confirms our belief that the relations between our two countries can only grow stronger and take advantage of the fabulous potential of our economies and the esteem and respect that our two peoples share.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As you know, the political relations between Russia and Algeria are excellent and I would like to note with satisfaction the progress made in bilateral cooperation, with the holding, last week, of the fifth session of the Joint Commission for economic cooperation, science and technology and the organization of the second Russian business forum in Algiers in October 2011.

The successful organization of the Algerian cultural week in Moscow and St. Petersburg in 2010 and that of Russia in Algiers and Tlemcen in 2011, offers another reason for optimism about the future of our cooperation, enhanced by the vector of Arts, which serves as a tremendous catalyst of mutual understanding.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As heirs to a history that is similar in many ways, our two economies are now facing almost the same challenges, those of modernization and diversification, energy efficiency as well as the entry into the era of know how economy.

All this opens up so many horizons of exchange and solidarity in our efforts.

As such, my country observes with great interest the Modernization Plan that you initiated in your country and which received a frank adherence of your fellow citizens, as well as among the major partners of Russia.

We particularly appreciated the accuracy of your analysis, with the focus on high technology and the remarkable project of creating a Russian Silicon Valley dedicated to innovation in Skolkovo.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Algeria is reaping the fruits of the policy of national reconciliation, initiated by H. E the President of the Republic, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, through which not only she has overcome past and cumbersome events, but also free will and energy has been generated in the service of peace and of the development of our country.

It is important to note in this context that Algeria had its systemic transformation in October 1988, which induced a multiparty system and freedom of expression.

Since 2001, my country is implementing an extensive program in the realization of socio-economic infrastructure that involves huge sums over $ 286 billion, under the new program spanning the period 2010-2014.

By its scope, and the amount of public investment involved, this program reflects the unprecedented effort of the government to implement modernization of the country’s infrastructure and production capacity as well as the total reimbursement of the external debt and maintenance of non-oil economic growth above 6% in recent years.

Indeed, thanks to an ambitious and cautious macroeconomic policy, the debt level of Algeria is almost at zero with only 0.3% of GDP, inflation is under 4%, Algerian banks are healthy and record an annual credit growth of 15%, the Revenue Regulation Fund represents savings of 40% of GDP and my country is expecting this year a 4% growth, with foreign exchange reserves equivalent to four years of imports.

I am also pleased to say that the hydrocarbons sector accounts for 30% of the value added products realized in Algeria, and 70% of the wealth created are non-oil activities with the private sector contributing for about 80 %.

These elements are accompanied by an active political life opened to all trends and forces legally recognized, among them 21 parties which are currently represented in parliament. The associative movement, for its part, counts more than 90,000 non-political associations and it is active in all sectors of life in Algeria. I would like to recall, finally, the freedom of Medias and the freedom of tone that characterizes it and I will limit myself to point out the existence of 71 dailies with less than a dozen belonging to the public sector.

The beginning of this new decade, characterized by exceptional regional developments, has been an opportunity to initiate a new stage of reforms announced by the President of the Republic on April 15th, 2011, these reforms aim to ensure:

1. More freedom;

2. More transparency;

3. More participation of women in elected assemblies;

4. More openness at the political and economic levels;

5. Better responses to citizens' expectations.

These are the objectives targeted, as they were announced about eight months ago.
Today, the process is almost complete with the provision of a legislative framework which, following a wide consultation has made an indisputable progress, even though it is still subject to improvement regardless of the efforts accomplished.

The new legislative framework will provide better conditions for preparing the parliamentary elections in spring 2012.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

On the international level, my country highly appreciates the positive and balanced role of Russian diplomacy and emphasizes the vocation of your great country to initiate prominent actions in international relations, to encourage international legitimacy, stability and shared prosperity.

My country also conducts constant efforts to promote peace, solidarity and development in its African, Arab and Mediterranean environment. Algeria is deploying its energy and sensitivity to encourage a change towards a world of sharing and justice in place of the climate of insecurity and marginalization, being conveyed by an aggressive globalization, especially towards developing countries. We are therefore convinced of the necessity of coordinating our policies to bring them into line with our various analysis and evaluation, that often correspond with each other, on crises and tensions faced by the international community.

In the Middle East, we are challenged by the gravity of the situation and the threats it represents for international peace and security.

The belligerent policy practiced by Israel keeps, in fact, the entire region in hostage and inflicts unbearable suffering to the Palestinian and Lebanese peoples. This region will only experience peace and stability through the evacuation of the occupied Arab territories in Palestine, Lebanon and Syria and the exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable national right to an independent state with Al Quds as its capital. In this respect, Algeria welcomes the balanced and constructive role of Russia within the Unites Nations and the Quartet to revive the peace process to a lasting and consistent solution in accordance with the International Law. I also welcome the commitment of your country to organize in Moscow, an International conference on the Middle East to give vitality and consistency to the peace process and to promote a favorable climate for dialogue.

 

Syria is rightly a major concern for the Arab countries. This big country whose historical roots are exceptional is now in a serious crisis. As you know, The Arab League has quickly proposed an initiative. Algeria is a member of The Ministerial Committee that promotes this initiative. We are now in a situation where with one hand we operate a positive and brotherly pressure on the Syrian government while the other hand is stretched towards the government and the syrian opposition in order to create the conditions for an inclusive and essential dialogue and to restore peace and security in this brother country.

We are working hard to give as many opportunities as possible to the Arab League’ s initiative aimed towards the end of violence, the release of prisoners and the opening of dialogue, but also on a better knowledge of what is really going on on the field. This last aim is particularly important because the information that comes from Syria is not always objective. We need a Commission composed of Arab league members and civil society that can go on the field and  check out what is happening in view to reproduce the real situation so that we can better define the most appropriate way to assist our Syrian brothers, to save human lives and to promote dialogue between the Government and the opposition. This remains, in my point of view, the only way to solve this crisis pacifically.

In this respect, I would like to welcome Russia ‘s position on Syria and join my voice to call all parties to reach a pacific and long standing solution for the good of the whole country.

The situation in Irak is also receiving our full attention and we hope that with the withdrawal of foreign troop’s, the Iraqi people can look forward to the future in peace and unity.

In North Africa we definitely remain committed to building economic integration through UMA. This is a deep conviction and a strategic choice that Algeria will continue to support unequivocally. Concerning Western Sahara’ s conflict, Algeria has no claim to this territory and has no other aim than the search for a standing solution based on International law and the right of people for self determination through the free and sovereign exercise of the Saharawi people to self determination and consequently the choice of their future under the guidance and protection of the United Nations which remains, ultimately answerable for this territory.

My country will support the General Secretary of the United Nations and hopes that the call of his Personal Representative, addressed to the permanent members of the Security Council will be followed to give more substance to negotiations between the two conflicting parties, the Kingdom of Morocco and the Polisario Front.

In the Sahel region, the situation calls for concern because of the collective effects of poverty, illicit traffic of weapons and drugs traffic that became worse after the Libyan events and the spread of sophisticated weapons in all the countries of the region and beyond.

We must admit that the Sahel region is facing under development and insecurity problems that should be solved by a joint and global effort, especially through the provision of stability to local populations and improvement of their living conditions.

Algeria offers its contribution by the realization of sub regional integration projects as the transaharan road, which is almost at the final stage (80%)  as well as the direct achievement of projects for the countries concerned.

In addition, the countries of the region organized themselves with the active participation of Algeria so that security matters will be taken care of by themselves. Therefore, if the Sahel countries are directly concerned by their future in terms of security and development, this doesn’t rule out the necessity of cooperation with other countries. The conference of the countries of the region held in Algiers in last September, paved the way for a serious partnership with several developed countries in the fields of training, equipments and intelligence. We know that we can count on our Russian friends in this matter.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Our two countries are actually mobilized against international terrorism and we daily achieve substantial progress to overcome this phenomenon and to save security in our countries and in the whole International community. It is worthwhile to  recall that terrorism has no borders and that its aim and means have a transnational dimension, which calls for a shared, united and practical approach, of all countries with the support of international and regional organizations. Unfortunately we notice here and then some difficulties that strangle this saving effort. Payment  of ransoms to terrorist is the most dangerous and immoral , and should stop on behalf of the respect of the first human rights , the right to life of peaceful citizens who are targeted by the weapons and explosives bought with the product of these ransoms.

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is with honor that we refer to Russia’s contribution to the eradication of colonization on the African continent. We are delighted by the interest you gave to the revival of relations between Russia and Africa and your support to the UA and NEPAD initiatives, at bilateral level as well as within G8, G20 and BRICS.

We are delighted by the upcoming international business forum Russia Africa to be held in Addis Abeba on December 15th and 16th.

We are convinced that Africa will deserve Russia’s commitment for peace and security as well as the confirmed availability of its enterprises to invest on the continent.

Ladies and gentlemen,

We are happy to share with Russia the same aim for multilateral relations and a greater democratization of international relations.

We follow attentively Russia’ s unrelentless  efforts in the international economic field,  particularly concerning the reform of the international finance system in a bid to avert the danger of another global crisis. This responsible and reasonable policy will finally bear its fruits leading to a more united world and to a global governance based on trust.

We welcome Russia’ s aim for primacy of international law and promotion of peace, based on United Nations principles , so that our children can inherit from us a more peaceful world, less militarized and oriented towards progress and the assumption of the challenges of the eradication of poverty and environmental  preservation. 

Thank you.

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