IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde Meets Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa of Tunisia

WASHINGTON, April 4, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Ms. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), made the following statement in Washington DC today:

“It has been a great pleasure to meet Prime Minister Jomaa today and exchange views on the pressing economic and social challenges facing the country and the government’s economic program.

“Our meeting was an opportunity to congratulate the Prime Minister on the progress made in Tunisia’s transition following the adoption of the new Constitution, which enjoyed the approval of an overwhelming majority at the Constituent Assembly and created a sense of hope.”

“Yet, Tunisia’s economic situation remains fragile, with growth insufficient to make a significant dent in unemployment. Reducing macroeconomic imbalances, revitalizing investment, and generating more inclusive growth will be prerequisites for ensuring sustainable job creation and fulfilling the legitimate aspirations of the Tunisian people.

“I welcomed the government’s firm commitment to pursue the economic policies and structural reforms necessary to address the major challenges facing Tunisia. The IMF will continue to support Tunisia in the implementation of its economic program through financial support, policy advice, and technical assistance. I look forward to a continuing productive engagement with Mr. Jomaa and his team.”

Source: APO

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Joint Press Availability With Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra

ALGIERS, Algeria, April 3, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Press Availability

John Kerry

Secretary of State

Algiers, Algeria

April 3, 2014

QUESTION: (Via interpreter, in progress) – makes a lot (inaudible) in the field of counterterrorism. However, we have two unshakable principles. The first one is noninterference in the states first, and the second one is the nonintervention of our army outside our territories. So how could we serve stability in this context and as part of these two principles?

SECRETARY KERRY: Merci. We have great respect for Algeria’s principle of noninterference. At the same time, terrorism doesn’t know any borders. Terrorism moves indiscriminately across borders without regard to international lines or rules of law. And there is only one way to respond between states who are joined together in the principle of fighting against terrorism, and that one way is cooperation.

We have to cooperate. I think Algeria completely understands that and is dedicated and committed to it. Algeria has been a very strong partner bilaterally and multilaterally in countering terrorist threats and in building a regional and international capacity to be able to do that. And Algeria’s one of the original key founders of the Global Counterterrorism Forum. It’s co-chair of the Sahel Region Capacity Working Group. And we really applaud the leadership of Algeria.

What we’re here to talk about today and what we have talked about is: How do we cooperate even further? How do we take this cooperation to be able to be more effective in providing the kind of stability that your question just asked about? So the United States, the UN, the G7 endorse the practices that are now known as the Algiers Memorandum. And we have, I think, very strong exchanges today with Algerian security services, law enforcement, their justice sectors, covering a wide range of questions.

Algeria is also a member of the Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Partnership, which is our primary vehicle – the United States State Department’s primary vehicle to support long-term capabilities of the countries in the West and North Africa to face the AQIM threat. So we’re building that capacity and I believe that Algeria’s noninterference principle that you asked about does not stand in the way at all of our capacity to build additional cooperative initiatives, and particularly to build a full-fledged security cooperative relationship, which is what we came here to talk about today. We’ve made progress on that and we’re very pleased with it.

FOREIGN MINISTER LAMAMRA: (Via interpreter) Thank you, John. As far as these complex issues are concerned, I can simply add to what the Secretary of State has just said. The issues of international terrorism at the level of doctrine and policies, the objective and principles of international cooperation are clear-cut on behalf of the protection of human life and dignity. At the operational level, it is necessary for efficiency purposes not to go into the details as far as international cooperation is concerned.

However, I would like to mention that the – for the countries of the region, can – we are available to support all the neighboring countries in terms of information, the exchange of experiences, equipment, and (inaudible), a stakeholder as totally involved in the field of counterterrorism. We have made huge sacrifices in fighting against terrorism, as you know.

MODERATOR: Another question? Scott from – our guest, the American side, from our – according –

MS. PSAKI: Scott Stearns from VOA.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, on the Middle East, you spoke today – here today and in Brussels about the limits of being a facilitator and about bringing the horse to water, saying today that the leaders need to know that now is the time to drink. Have you had any indication from Prime Minister Netanyahu or President Abbas that they are ready to drink?

And Mr. Minister, could you tell us specifically: What is it that you would like to see from the United States to help with security assistance, especially along the border with Mali? Thank you.

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, Scott, let me say that I have been in direct touch this morning with our team on the ground in Israel, and they worked literally until 4:00 in the morning in direct discussions between Israelis and Palestinians, with the United States present, in an effort to try to move the process forward. I think it is a critical moment, obviously. The dialogue remains open. There was progress made in narrowing some of the questions that have arisen as a result of the events of the last few days, but there’s still a gap, and that gap will have to be closed and closed fairly soon.

So I will be in touch this afternoon with both leaders, but again, it’s really their decision that has to be made. They understand what the choices are. They understand what the stakes are. And they understand each of them, their own limits and dynamics. So we are urging them to find the compromise that is critical to being able to move forward.

One of the important things I want to say about this moment: The fight right now, the disagreement between them, is not over the fundamental substance of a final status agreement. It’s over the process that would get you there and what you need to do in order to be able to continue to negotiate. It would be a tragedy for both of them, we would say, for them to lose the opportunity to get to those real issues that are the differences of a final status agreement.

A fight over process, how to get into a negotiation, should not stop you from getting into that negotiation. And so I hope that they will consider that very, very carefully. President Obama believes very strongly that the role of the United States to help the parties come together is a critical role. He is committed to his efforts and my efforts on behalf of him and the United States to play this role without any fear, because we believe that it’s the right thing to do. President Obama believes that it is important for the United States to try to help the parties make peace.

But as he himself would agree, in the end, the leaders have to make the decisions to do so. We will continue to do everything in our power to try to bring them together, to find a place of reasonableness, to encourage them to compromise, show ways in which they might do so. But in the end, they are the ones who have to say yes, and that’s where we are.

FOREIGN MINISTER LAMAMRA: If I may, John, just to make a short comment on the Middle East, I think a week or so ago, we were having our Arab summit in Kuwait. And the ministers of foreign affairs of the group had a chance to be briefed by President Mahmoud Abbas about the status quo of the diplomatic effort at that time. What I want to say is that at that time, the president referred to the fact that he had some 38 interactions with you, John, and he described that as really a clear demonstration of the commitment by the Secretary of State and President Obama to achieve lasting peace for the region and justice for the Palestinian people.

So the whole group were very appreciative of this effort, and we were hoping that it would reach fruition and it will indeed have the desired outcome that we are all hoping for and praying for. President Mahmoud Abbas requested a meeting of the ministers of foreign affairs of the Arab world to be held on the 9th of April in Cairo. We intend to go and we’ll definitely listen to President Mahmoud Abbas about the nitty-gritty of these discussions, and I’m sure that because it is our longstanding position to favor peace, stability, security, global peace, I believe that the Arab world will again express appreciation and support to your efforts, Mr. Secretary.

SECRETARY KERRY: And I –

FOREIGN MINISTER LAMAMRA: It’s not –

SECRETARY KERRY: I’m sorry, I thought you were finished. I didn’t mean to –

FOREIGN MINISTER LAMAMRA: No, I thought I would go to the Arab question, but please –

SECRETARY KERRY: No, no, please.

FOREIGN MINISTER LAMAMRA: Please, go, go.

No, regarding what is expected on the part of USA as far as the fight against terrorism in the Sahel region is concerned, I believe that today, the time has come for us to consolidate the achievements of the war against terrorism in northern Mali. I believe that we need to help in the rebuilding state institutions, law enforcement agencies, the national armed forces of Mali, and also in encouraging the regional efforts aiming at putting together regional security arrangements under the African Union initiative.

Eleven countries in the region have launched what we call the Nouakchott Process in order to help to assist each other in monitoring borders, in sharing intelligence, and this is a good occasion for the region to show by itself that indeed, we can do our best to fight and defeat terrorism in the Sahel region with clearly the required assistance on the part of the international community. If we were to ask specifically about what the U.S. can do, because nobody else could do it, it’s, for instance, sharing electronic intelligence with the armed forces and security agencies in the region. One example, but this is a qualitative edge that only the U.S. can provide. Thank you.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you for that comment, Ramtane. Let me – just a quick addendum to that. I just want to – maybe I don’t have to say this, but I’ll just say it. If this was an easy thing to do, it would have happened a long time ago. It’s difficult because it is a very difficult conflict with deep-rooted historical levels of mistrust and huge narrative issues on both sides that are deeply emotional and go to the core of both people’s identity and aspirations.

It’s as tough as it gets. And the one thing that stands out to me is this: If it’s tough today, I have not met anybody anywhere who believes it’s going to get easier next week or next year or in the future. And that’s why I think this is so important. Both sides – neither side can achieve what it wants staying away from the negotiating table. There’s only one way to resolve that, and that’s through negotiation. And so my hope, along with the foreign ministers and everybody, I think, in the world, is that the parties will not lose an opportunity to negotiate.

FOREIGN MINISTER LAMAMRA: Thank you, sir.

MS. PSAKI: Thank you, everyone.

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

African Leaders & United Nations Secretary-General Highlight Importance of Health for Development / Malaria showcased as exemplary health investment for greater development at side event hosted by

BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, April 3, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — African leaders and Heads of State, gathered for the 4th EU-Africa Summit in Brussels just days before World Health Day (7 April),highlighted the importance of health for Africa’s development. At a side-event hosted by the African Union Commission (AUC)and the Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM). Speakers, including United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission,and several African Heads of State,called for health to remain prominent on the development agenda to meet the 2015 deadline of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and for the foreseeable future.

Addressing approximately 150 leaders from developing and donor countries, United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon said,“Now is a critical time. […] We can achieve great results by drawing on the valuable lessons we have learned – including the critical importance of keeping investments in health high on the international development agenda. I call on all partners to contribute to health interventions now that will save costs and lives in the future.”Ban also noted, “Healthy communities create more vibrant, inclusive societies that allow people and economies to thrive. Malaria clearly illustrates this.Since the Millennium Development Goals were launched, we have seen proof that fighting malaria is a good investment that saves lives and speeds up economic progress.”

Speakers also highlighted the importance of health investmentsto drive development progress more generally, encouraging political leadership, domestic ownership and partnership to save lives and create more stable environments that allow greater development for all.

Speaking on the Common African Position on the United Nations Post-2015 Development Agenda, H.E. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia noted: “[…]Africa stands at a major crossroads as we leave behind death and despair and rally ourselves and our resources to improve the quality of lives for our communities.” She continued,“We are all on this journey together and while we have overcome tremendous obstacles, more lie ahead in the work to improve the lives of people across Africa and the world. We must take up the unfinished business of ridding Africa of malaria, HIV and TB.If we redouble our efforts to the end of 2015 and commit to a shared post-2015 agenda, we will succeed.”

“My Government holds the firm beliefs that we must always put people first and also that healthy people make a healthy and prosperous nation. This is why a significant portion of our national budget is dedicated to health, but more funding is needed in this area,” H.E. President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana went on to say. “We need to dedicate more strategic funding towards the overall health of our people, and specifically towards the elimination of malaria.”

Investments in health have consistently been associated with development impact. In Rwanda, for example, World Bank figures show that an increase in health expenditure by just 15% has resulted in drastic advances against leading indicators of poverty and disease, including a decrease in malaria incidence by more than half since 2006 and a reduction in maternal mortality. These advances helped spark economic development that resulted in a nearly US $5.5 billion increase in GDP in the last decade.

“Africa is the fastest developing continent in the world today. […] This is because we as African leaders, together with our people and development partners, are committed to turning the tables on scourges like malaria,” said H.E. President Armando Guebuza of Mozambique. “This century, we shall be reaping not only a demographic dividend, but a disease-free dividend; as our children’s lives are saved, their learning potential increases, labor market productivity levels rise, and both governments and households spend less on health, releasing more resources for development with the defeat of malaria.”

Drawing on malaria controlas an area of exemplary health investment, many noted the impressive gains made against the killer disease in recent years – particularly in Africa, where the disease is estimated to cost a minimum of US $12 billion in lost productivity each year – and the associated advancements against development targets more broadly. Recent data currently under review indicates that every US $1 invested in malaria in Africa yields US $40 GDP.

“Malaria has shown us the strong return possible when we come together, within and between sectors, to strengthen systems and increase access to prevention and treatment services,” said Dr. Fatoumata Nafo-Traoré, Executive Director of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership.“Time and time again, malaria has proven to be one of the most cost-effective global health investments, serving as an entry point to other development targets and giving way to safer pregnancies, fuller classrooms and healthier economies. When we invest in health, we not only save lives, we enhance quality of life for entire communities. Continued progress will require a strong multisectoral approach, leveraging the unique skillsets of all to maximize impact.”

Increased attention to health has allowed tremendous progress against other development targets in recent years, particularly in Africa. As a result, global poverty has declined, with at least 500 million fewer people now living below the poverty line, child mortality has fallen by nearly 50% and malaria death rates have fallen by 45% worldwide and 49% in Africa alone. More children than ever recorded are now attending primary school, access to safe drinking water has improved and programs to prevent and treat HIV, malaria and TB have saved millions of lives.

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

THE CHURCH HAS AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN RECONCILIATION IN RWANDA

VATICAN, Holy See, April 3, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — National reconciliation and the role the Church may play in this task twenty years after the genocide that devastated the nation were the central themes of Pope Francis’ address to the bishops of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Rwanda at the end of their five-yearly “ad limina” visit.

The Holy Father acknowledges the suffering of the Rwandan people and the many wounds that must still be healed, and joined in heartfelt mourning with the population, assuring the bishops of his prayers for “your ecclesial communities, often torn; for all the victims and their families, and for all the Rwandan people, regardless of their religion, ethnic origin or political views”.

Two decades after the tragic events of 1994, “œreconciliation and the healing of wounds remain without doubt the priority of the Church in Rwanda”, the Pope writes. “The forgiveness of sins and genuine reconciliation, that might seem impossible from a human point of view after so much suffering, are however a gift it is possible to receive from Christ, thanks to faith and prayer, even though the road is long and requires patience, mutual respect and dialogue. The Church therefore has a place in the reconstruction of a reconciled Rwandan society; with all the strength of your faith and Christian hope, go ahead with vigour, giving constant witness to the truth. … It is therefore important that the Church speaks with one voice, overcoming prejudices and ethnic divisions, manifesting her unity and communion with the universal Church and with the Successor of Peter”.

In this context of national reconciliation, it is also necessary to strengthen relations of trust between the Church and the State, and the fiftieth anniversary of the initiation of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Rwanda offers the opportunity to recall the benefits this has brought throughout the country. “Constructive and genuine dialogue with the authorities can only encourage concerted work of reconcilation and the reconstruction of society based on the values of human dignity, justice and peace. Be an ‘outreach’ Church, able to take initiatives and build trust”.

Pope Francis highlights the indispensable contribution of the Church to the common good, above all in the sectors of education and healthcare. In relation to the latter, there are many people who dedicate themselves to the victims of the war, those who are wounded “in body and soul”, especially widows and orphans, as well as the sick and elderly. The Pope also emphasises that the education of the young “is the key to the future of a country where the population is renewed rapidly” and “therefore, it is the duty of the Church to educate children and young people in the values of the Gospel which … will be, for them, a compass to show them the way. It is necessary for them to learn to be active and generous members of society, as the future is in their hands”.

In the task of evangelisation and reconstruction, laypeople “play a pivotal role” and their work in society will be credible to the extent that they are “competent and honest”. The Holy Father urges the bishops to pay attention to their formation and reminded them, at the same time, to dedicate all the care possible to the pastoral care of Rwandan families, many of which have been “torn apart and recomposed”. He also mentions priests, to whom he expresses his gratitude, as “their burden is heavy and they are still few in number”.

The Pope concludes his address, commending Rwanda to the maternal protection of the Virgin Mary. “It is my ardent hope that the Shrine of Kibeho may radiate the love of Mary for her children, especially for the poorest and most injured, and that it may be for the Church in Rwanda, and beyond, a call to turn with trust to ‘Our Lady of Sorrows’ so that she might accompany all on their path and obtain for them the gift of reconciliation and peace”.

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

Remarks at the Opening Plenary Sessions of the U.S-Algeria Strategic Dialogue

ALGIERS, Algeria, April 3, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Remarks

John Kerry

Secretary of State

Algiers, Algeria

April 3, 2014

Shukran, thank you. Good morning, everybody. It’s nice to be here. I want to thank Foreign Minister Lamamra for his – Ramtane for his very thoughtful, very wise and encouraging opening comments, a really very comprehensive statement, Ramtane, with a great deal of thought about the things that we need to cooperate on and work on. So I’m particularly encouraged at the opening of this plenary session to have heard the broad prospects of increased cooperation between us. I want to thank you for your welcome here today, and particularly all the members of your team and the government for such a generous welcome. We’re really appreciative.

I want to thank our Ambassador, Henry Ensher, for his and the entire Embassy’s efforts that they perform on a daily basis here in order to build our relationship and to help to address many of the issues that we talk about (inaudible). And I particularly want to call attention to the fact that we have a very high-level, competent, experienced team here today. This is not a secondary effort. I’ve never seen one news outlet make as much effort to put its microphone right – kudos. (Laughter.)

But I want to say that our team is really ready to engage. We have people here who are deeply steeped in every sector that we will discuss today, who – I was about to say this is not a secondary stop. This is a very important moment for us because we believe deeply that this relationship can grow significantly, that there is much to be done to be able to advance our mutual interests. And in the end, diplomacy and relationships are built on the ability of countries to be able to find those interests and to find ways to be able to meet them together.

As Ramtane said to all of you, this is a relationship that goes way, way back, and it’s very special for us in the United States in that regard. The present-day American city of St. Augustine, Florida was actually founded 450 years ago in honor of a man from this corner of the world, the great scholar Augustine of Hippo. And as Ramtane mentioned a few moments ago, the treaty that was signed in 1795, the Amity and Peace Treaty that brought our countries together way back then, all the way through Algeria’s fight for independence – the United States and Algeria have worked together in support of peace and in support of self-determination.

And obviously, as a former senator for some 30 years and with the privilege of meeting John F. Kennedy as president, I am particularly proud of the fact that he did have that foresight to speak to Algeria’s rights as a country. And you have been through very difficult battles even since then in order to be able to live the right of self-determination and to be able to fulfill your dreams and aspirations.

So we come here today very sensitive to this history. We need to grow it. There’s much more that we can do. We need to trust each other. We need to build trust. And we need to think carefully about the challenges that we all face. This is a time when peace and self-determination are facing more complex threats than ever before, and it’s easy to say the words but it is not easy to achieve the goal. And I just want to say a word about that because it is what makes the cooperation between nations like ours so important.

Ramtane a moment ago said how Algeria is one of the strongest nations in the region, and it is one of the most homogenous, notwithstanding that there are moments of conflict. And the fact is that this country has resources, it has a civil society, it has people greatly committed to these values, and so there’s a natural ability for our nations to be able to come together. We face particular challenges.

Vast numbers of young people – actually all through Africa but throughout the region from the Maghreb to the Sahel into the Levant, all the way into South Asia – huge populations under the age of 30, nations where 60, 65 percent of the population is under the age of 30; 50 percent under the age of 21; 40 percent under the age of 18. The median age of Algeria is 27 years old. So we need to make sure that we can find jobs for these people, that their future is defined through education and opportunity, and not through IEDs and violence.

Those who offer the violence that comes with terrorism that Ramtane talked about don’t offer jobs. They don’t offer education. They don’t offer healthcare. They don’t have a program to pull the country together around its common identity. They destroy it. And they tell people, in a direct confrontation with modernity, that everybody has to do what they say and live the way they tell them. We’ve been through these struggles for too long as common humanity to be cowered by that, intimidated by it, or ruled by it. And so it is absolutely vital in this Strategic Dialogue that we work to find common ground.

And today, 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. So let me quickly just offer a few thoughts on each.

First and foremost, our security cooperation: The United States will absolutely continue to stand with Algeria to fight the scourge of terrorism which I just talked about. And we will continue to work with youth through the Global Counterterrorism Forum in order to combat drug trafficking, kidnapping for ransom, both of which fund terrorism in North and West Africa. We will look to increase our security assistance to Algeria. We really want to work in a cooperative way, and we want to do this so that Algerian security services have the tools and the training needed in order to defeat al-Qaida and other terrorist groups. And we will work to address the instability that has spread throughout the Maghreb and Sahel.

We are grateful, very grateful, for Algeria’s efforts in Mali and Niger which underscore Algeria’s constructive role in regional stability not only in the east, but to the south also. 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, what I mentioned earlier, our shared interests. Together, we can help other nations in the region secure their borders, strengthen rule of law, and build stable democratic institutions.

Second, on our economic cooperation, we will do everything that we can in order to continue to strengthen business, trade, and investment ties between our countries. Joint efforts like the one that connected Algeria’s energy needs to General Electric’s energy expertise not only benefit both Algerians and Americans, but they also bring our economies closer together. And that’s why I’m very pleased to announce that our Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz, will attend the Algeria International Trade Fair in June. And the United States is delighted to be the guest of honor at this year’s trade fair, which Secretary Moniz will be on hand to talk about opportunities that American companies in Algeria can unlock for Algerians and Americans together.

There are just an enormous amount – energy, as we think about the challenge of climate change in the world, as well as the challenges we see with the recent events of Ukraine – energy must not be used as a weapon, as a tool of conduct in international affairs. And it is vital for us to diversify and to find ways to produce as much low-cost energy as possible so it is available for growth and development throughout the world. We have an ability to build on that capacity in our partnership very significantly. We think there’s an ability for the United States technology to marry with Algerian ingenuity and creativity in order to be able to build economic strength, and so that’s a huge opportunity.

Third, on strengthening the people-to-people ties that are critical to the success of any international partnership, we have a number of important initiatives in place today. And we hope to see even more in the future. We look forward to building on programs like those that are funded by the Middle East Partnership Initiative, aimed at strengthening civil society throughout the region, and the Fulbright student exchanges. That program here in Algeria is a very, very important one, time-honored between us. And in order to meet the extraordinarily high demand among Algerians to learn English, we are training more English teachers throughout the country. Every person in Algeria who wants to learn English ought to be able to have the opportunity to access the resources needed to do so, and we are working very, very hard to make that happen.

Finally, let me just mention quickly the external events that Ramtane referred to. It is critical for the world that we find a way to resolve the crisis of Syria, and we’re very appreciative for the cooperative effort with Algeria and other countries of the region to do so. We also believe there is no solution other than a political solution. There is no military solution. But we also believe that because of what has happened, the nature of the weapons used, gas, chemical bombs against children, indiscriminate killing of civilians, starvation as a tool of war, more then 140,000 people killed – we believe that it is impossible for Bashar al-Assad and his regime to ever regain the legitimacy to be able to govern the country. So the difficulty has been the absence of an ability to be able to change the dynamic where we can get that political solution, but we will remain committed, and we want to work with Algeria and others in order to help make that happen.

On the Middle East peace process, we remain committed. The parties met even last night and they are continuing to have their discussions. We will continue, no matter what, to try to facilitate the capacity of people to be able to make peace. But in the end, my friends, as all of you know, you can facilitate, you can push, you can nudge, but the parties themselves have to make fundamental decisions and compromises. The leaders have to lead, and they have to be able to see a moment when it’s there. There is an old saying, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” Now’s the time to drink, and the leaders need to know that.

Lastly, you have an election coming up here in Algeria two weeks from now. We look forward to elections that are transparent and in line with international standards, and the United States will work with the president that the people of Algeria choose in order to bring about the future that Algeria and its neighbors deserve. And that is a future where citizens can enjoy the free exercise of their civil, political, and human rights, and where global companies, businesses, are confident in being able to invest for the long haul.

So I look forward to the developments that come out of the working group meetings today. I particularly look forward. President Obama is very, very anxious to see this working effort, this dialogue produce a stronger relationship. President Obama is committed to enhancing the cooperation between the United States and Algeria in the months and years to come, and it’s a privilege to be here.

One last thing: We will cooperate in everything except the World Cup, where our teams may have to clash. (Laughter.) Thank you. (Applause.)

Source: APO

Categories: African Press Organization

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