Migration, situation in Libya and Syria were among the main issues broached on Wednesday by Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Alfonso Maria Dastis Quecedo, who dubbed migration a “challenge” for both the African and European continents.
“The migration is among the major challenges today, not only between Africa and Europe but also within Africa,” said Dastis in an interview with APS on the occasion of his working visit to Algeria.
In this regard, the Spanish Foreign minister recalled that “Spain has been facing this challenge since 2006 and has always adopted a comprehensive approach, based on three dimensions of equal importance, namely organizing legal migration, combating illegal migration and strengthening links between migration and development.”
Dastis also hailed the “excellent” cooperation between Spain and Algeria in this field, adding that “it is based on mutual trust.”
As regards the crises in Syria and Libya, the Spanish minister said that “the situation in these two countries is a cause for concern and we have often discussed these issues with our Algerian partners.”
He hoped that “Geneva process (for Syria crisis) would be crowned with success after so much suffering and destruction.”
“Spain is also very concerned over the situation in Libya,” he said, adding “since the beginning of the crisis (in Libya) (…) we have relentlessly worked to defend the sovereignty and unity of the neighbouring country.”
In this respect, Dastis recalled the international conference on Libya held in Madrid in September 2014.
In this regard, he hailed the Algeria’s efforts, as a neighbouring country and along with Egypt and Tunisia, for the reconciliation of our Libyan friends, so that they would enjoy peace and prosperity they deserve.”
Terrorism, a global threat
In response to a question about radicalization, terrorism and organized crime, the Spanish Foreign minister said “unfortunately Spain and Algeria know well the scourge of terrorism, which has become a global threat and should be therefore combated through bilateral and multilateral cooperation.”
“Our cooperation with Algeria in the fight against terrorism and organized crime is excellent,” he added.
“During our term as president of the United Nations Security Council (2015-2016), we have made of the fight against terrorism among our top priorities,” he stressed.
In this regard, he recalled the resolution 2322 (December 2016), which strengthens judicial cooperation against terrorism.
“Algeria has adopted a very effective strategy against radicalization,” he said, adding that Spain has supported, since its creation, the African Centre of Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT), which is based in Algiers.
“Spain is also participating in the Sahel Working Group within the Global Counterterrorism Forum, which is co-chaired by Algeria,” he added.