11/19/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/19/2023 04:49
Second session of the Algeria-United Kingdom Strategic Dialogue:
Joint Communiqué, London, 16 November 2023
The Minister of State for the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and United Nations of the United Kingdom, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and National Community Abroad of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria, His Excellency Ahmed Attaf, met in London on 16 November 2023 in the framework of the second session of the Algeria-United Kingdom Strategic Dialogue.
The Ministers held constructive talks aimed at deepening existing bilateral cooperation. They praised the longstanding relationship between Algeria and the United Kingdom, which dates back to the sixteenth century and the appointment of the first British Consul in Algiers in 1580 and the signing in 1682 of a bilateral Treaty of Peace and Trade.
The two sides noted with satisfaction the progress in implementing the recommendations of the first session of the strategic dialogue held in 2020. They emphasised the warm and extensive links between the UK and Algeria, praising the depth of diplomatic, defence, security, economic, trade, scientific research, education and cultural cooperation. The UK and Algeria agreed to strengthen the bilateral partnership in those fields, including through regular official-level engagement.
The Ministers also discussed regional and multilateral issues of common interest. The two sides shared their assessments of the situation in the North Africa and Middle East, as well as the Sahel region.
The UK congratulated Algeria on its election earlier this year to both the UN Security Council and the UN Human Rights Council. The UK looked forward to supporting Algerian priorities during its upcoming tenure at the Security Council and beyond on issues of concern, including shared aims of stability, security and human rights, stability in the Sahel and non-constitutional change of government there. The UK and Algeria expressed concern about non-constitutional changes of government, including in the Sahel, and the importance of addressing the root cause of instability. The deteriorating security situation in Mali, and the need for a resolution to the Niger crisis, were particular areas of concern.
The Ministers sides reaffirmed their shared commitment to regular political dialogue and high-level exchanges to deepen understanding and strengthen cooperation on regional and global issues of mutual concern. They also undertook to promote peace, security and stability in their respective regions as well as globally, through close coordination and collaboration within international organisations and fora.
With regards to the current situation in the Middle East, the two sides expressed their deep concern at the loss of civilian lives and the deteriorating humanitarian situation. The two parties called for the protection of civilians and the facilitation of access for humanitarian aid. Both sides reiterated their support for a two-state solution based on 1967 borders as the only viable solution to the Middle East conflict.
On the issue of Western Sahara, the two sides reaffirmed their commitment for a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution, based on compromise, which provides for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara, consistent with the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations. The two sides reaffirmed their full support to the efforts of the UN Secretary-General's Personal Envoy, Mr Staffan de Mistura as well as MINURSO. The two countries expressed their concern at the humanitarian situation in the Tindouf refugee camps and reiterated the need for further humanitarian support.
The UK and Algeria then discussed existing and planned bilateral cooperation. The sides reaffirmed their desire to further strengthen and enhance partnership and cooperation in all fields and explore new avenues of cooperation based on mutual interest. They recognised the potential for further economic cooperation in areas such as trade, investment, energy and technology. Both countries committed to facilitate and promote trade and investment, identify opportunities for business partnerships, and create an enabling environment for increased economic engagement.
On defence and security, the two sides:
- welcomed ongoing cooperation in the face of shared security challenges, including the fight against terrorism, organised crime, human trafficking, cyber security and other transnational threats.
- agreed to strengthen intelligence sharing, law enforcement cooperation, and capacity building efforts to enhance security and promote stability in the region.
- looked forward to further deepening the close defence relationship and to the Joint Military Dialogue in 2024.
- reaffirmed the strong cooperation on aviation and maritime security issues - a key enabler for trade and people movement between our two countries. To that end, the two sides agreed to advance a technical Memorandum of Understanding on maritime security cooperation.
On trade and investment, the two sides:
- celebrated UK investments in Algeria, and the mutual benefits arising from them.
- renewed the shared commitment to build successful and mutually beneficial trade and investment partnerships. In this regard, the UK and Algeria identified several opportunities to develop through investment and partnership, including in the fields of renewable energy, finance and banking, the digital and technology sectors, pharmaceuticals, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, agriculture, and tourism.
- acknowledged the importance of energy cooperation, including renewable energy, energy efficiency, and the transition to a low-carbon economy. To that end, the UK and Algeria committed to explore opportunities for collaboration in the energy sector, including knowledge sharing, technology transfer and joint research and development initiatives.
- acknowledged the importance of supporting and promoting start-ups as drivers of innovation, economic growth and job creation. The UK and Algeria committed to examining future opportunities for exchanging best practice which might be 3 achieved through the signing of bilateral of Memoranda of Understanding. The UK also acknowledged the significant initiatives undertaken by the Algerian Government to foster the start-up ecosystem since 2020.
- agreed to explore bilateral exchanges of visits on start-ups and enterprise, aimed at cultivating cross-cultural exchange and collaboration.
- agreed to advocate for the establishment of collaborative frameworks between venture capitalists from both countries, fostering the exchange of best practice and facilitating fundraising for Algerian start-ups.
- welcomed the creation of the Trade Task Force, following on from the trade facilitation workshop earlier this year. To that end, the UK and Algeria signed a Memorandum of Understanding, to act as a foundation to further the discussion on a mutually beneficial trade agreement.
- welcomed the launch of the Developing Countries Trading Scheme which supports economic growth and diversification in countries across Africa, and which offers Algeria tariff free access to the UK in the majority of sectors.
- agreed to increase the level of contact and exchanges between business communities.
On consular affairs, migration and justice, the two sides:
- noted with satisfaction the level of bilateral dialogue on consular affairs and the recent visit to Algeria by UK Home Office Minister Jenrick earlier this year.
- agreed to further develop contacts between officials in the fields of consular affairs and to strengthen cooperation on returns.
- agreed to continue strengthening existing cooperation on wider judicial and home affairs cooperation, including tackling irregular migration and human trafficking, consolidating institutional cooperation including by benefitting Algeria from the UK expertise on anti-corruption and good governance.
On education and culture, the UK welcomed Algerian government's initiative to increase the teaching of English language in schools and as a language of tuition in higher education establishments. The UK reiterated its willingness to lend its support in this regard through increasing inter-universities cooperation. Elsewhere, the two sides:
- welcomed the launch of the joint Higher Education Committee as a vehicle to strengthen collaboration and build university-to-university partnerships through twinning agreements, joint projects and research programs in the field of agriculture, renewable energy, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and green hydrogen.
- looked to facilitate academic cooperation, student exchanges, cultural events and further collaboration between educational and cultural institutions.
- welcomed the close collaboration between the British Council and the Ministry of National Education to deliver training to English language teachers.
- welcomed the recent signing of an updated Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of "British Schools" in Algeria, and now look forward to the opening of a second school - "British Campus Algeria" - in 2024.
The UK also congratulated the Algerian side on the decision to set up a Cultural centre in London to promote and expand cultural ties between the two countries.
On parliamentary cooperation, the two sides welcomed the dynamics of political dialogue and committed to encouraging parliamentary cooperation through exchange of visits of members of parliament particularly through reinvigorating the Algerian-UK Friendship Parliamentary Group.
On the exchange of high level visits between the two countries, the UK looked forward to Algeria's participation at the Africa-UK Investment Summit which will be hosted by the UK Prime Minister in London on April 2024.
The two sides agreed to convene for follow up talks at Ministerial level in Algiers in one year's time.