Algeria calls on Europe to respect its sovereignty
Algeria's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ramtane Lamamra, on Friday described EU comments on human rights issues in his country as "interference" and demanded "mutual respect," Algeria Press Service reported.
"If there is a sub-culture that allows interference in the affairs of justice in some countries, it is not part of our culture in Algeria", Lamamra said at a press briefing after the 9th session of the Algeria-EU Association Council.
Lamamra emphasised the importance of mutual respect between his country and the EU and urged the EU to respect his country's national sovereignty.
Lamamra said. "We have clarified things and insist on two principles: mutual respect and balance of interests."
Regarding the general partnership with the EU, the minister said there were still several elements that must be improved, while others must be changed. He said it is time for the European side "to change their attitudes towards Algeria."
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Lamamra and Federica Mogherini, the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, signed a protocol of the Association Agreement enabling Algeria's participation in 20 Euro-Mediterranean programmes; they include Horizon 2020 and Creative Europe.
The Press Service said that both officials also signed a memorandum of understanding concerning the single support framework for the period 2014‑2017.
This defines three priority sectors of intervention for the EU in Algeria: justice reform and strengthening of citizen participation in public life, labour market reform and job creation and support for the management and diversification of the economy.
Algeria demands more from association agreement with EU
Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra has said that it is time for the Algeria-EU association agreement to be revised because it is only beneficial to the European Union.
Times have changed since the agreement was concluded 10 years and “Algeria gave more than it received” under the partnership, argued Lamamra.
The minister was speaking at a press conference in Brussels at the end of the 9th meeting of the Algeria-EU Association Council which focused on political and economic dialogue between the two partners. He said “an assessment is imperative” in order to make the association agreement a mutually beneficial accord.
Lamamra said circumstances are no longer the same in Algeria or Europe and “adjustments” will assure that “Algeria’s interests are taken into account.”
E.U. diplomacy chief Federica Mogherini has reportedly expressed interest in developing the Union’s partnership with Algeria.
Despite Algeria’s request for the association agreement to be reviewed, it signed a master funding agreement of €140 million destined to finance projects in the sectors of justice, employment and actions to diversify its economy.
A Single Support Framework ranging from 2014 to 2017 will support justice, citizen participation, diversification of the economy and job creation reforms with a budget between €121 and €140 million.
Lamamra applauded the gesture undertaken part of the association agreement partnership since the country, he said, “is facing some problems induced by the sharp fall of oil prices.” It will also “reinforce in a very tangible manner cooperation between Algeria and the European Union,” he said.
Lamamra stressed however that the EU should not interfere in his country’s judicial affairs and called for a European attitude change more respectful of Algeria’s sovereignty.