Tripoli, 8 March: Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci has said a number of major Algerian figures would be heading to Libya . . .[restrict]soon. They would be “not only at government level but also at the enterprise level,” he said during an International Women’s Day event on Thursday in Algiers.
Medelci was in Tripoli on Monday for confidence-building talks with the Libyan government.
At Thursday’s event, he said that Libyan officials he met this week in Tripoli had “expressed their hopes for the development of cooperation with Algeria in various fields.” Border security cooperation had also been discussed he said as well as possible Algerian help on training the Libyan army and police.
He said he was convinced that Libya would be able to move ahead and surmount present difficulties. “We will help,” he told local Algerian reporters.
Relations between Algeria and Libya have been strained over the widespread Libyan conviction that Algeria supported the Qaddafi regime against last year’s revolution and, since then, over Algiers’ decision to give asylum to Qaddafi’s wife, daughter and two of his sons after they fled Libya.
Medelci sought during his visit to Libya on Monday to ease tensions between the two countries. However, he told Libyan foreign minister Ashour Ben Khayal that Algeria would not agree to extradite the Qaddafi family although he said his government would never allow them to intervene in the Libya affairs again.
Medelci’s visit on Monday was the first by an Algerian minister since the revolution. The ice was broken when Ben Khayal and Medelci met at the Arab Maghreb Union foreign ministers meeting in Rabat in mid-February. [/restrict]