Remarks With Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra Before Their Meeting

John Kerry
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
September 18, 2014

SECRETARY KERRY: Good evening, everybody. Thank you very much. I’m sorry to keep you waiting. I apologize for running a little late. But it’s a great pleasure for me to be able to welcome the foreign minister of Algeria here to Washington. Foreign Minister Lamamra and I are getting to be old friends, if not a little older, and I’m enormously appreciative of the wonderful visit that I had to Algeria where we talked about a great many of the regional issues.

Today I want to particularly thank the Government of Algeria for their very prompt and strong support for the coalition to deal with the problem of ISIL. We’re appreciative of their efforts in counterterrorism particularly.

And also in the course of the next days in New York I will be hosting a small meeting of key nations that have an interest in Libya. We all know that Libya is challenged right now. A near neighbor, Algeria has critical relationships, and together with Egypt the region is working very hard to help deal with this issue. We want to be supportive and we want to work cooperatively, and I look forward to not just the discussion we have today but to furthering our efforts in this small group meeting that takes place in New York.

So these are important days; there’s a lot happening. All of us need to rely on each other and work together cooperatively, and I’m glad we have a friend and a partner in Algeria. Thank you.

FOREIGN MINISTER LAMAMRA: Thank you very much. Well, back in the month of April President Bouteflika and I were very much pleased to receive John Kerry. It was his first official visit to Algeria, building on the solid foundations that our predecessors did put for our strategic partnership. I believe that the meeting was fruitful; it has opened very, very numerous avenues for us to work closely together. Our bilateral partnership is promising; it encompasses so many areas of business. It is not anymore limited to energy; it covers so many areas, and it is really a good terrain and good ground for American companies to come and to contribute in the development of Algeria.

In the political area, I believe that we have been developing the strategic partnership which covers so many areas. We work closely together. We share values and interests, and I believe that our consultations have always the impact of moving forward issues in a way that contributes to ensuring the blessings of a normal life to our people in our region and beyond our region.

Algeria and the U.S. have been developing a very effective and action-oriented counterterrorism partnership. I think it has proven to be very serious. Algeria, as you know, can be counted among the few countries that have effectively defeated terrorism. We have paid the very high price for that, but we enjoy today security, a very reasonable level of security and a quietness in our country. And we do contribute; as I say, we are a security and stability exporting countries. We work with our neighbors, we develop very good relations and partnership, and as the Secretary said, Libya as well as Mali, immediate neighboring countries to Algeria, where as you know, terrorism and instability prevail. They are the focus of our immediate diplomatic action, while of course contributing our share to resolving other issues beyond our borders.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you, my friend. Very important.


SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you all.