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President of the Government of Spain make official two-day visit to Algeria

Pedro Sánchez underlines his wish to further step up institutional, economic and human ties between Spain and Algeria

Thursday 8 October 2020

During his two-day stay in the capital of Algeria, Algiers, the President of the Government met with the country's President, Abdelmadjid Tebounne, the Prime Minister, Abdelaziz Djerad, and with a group of Algerian authorities and business leaders from both countries. Pedro Sánchez stated his wish "to further step up institutional, economic and human ties" with Algeria and encouraged collaboration in such sectors as waste treatment, renewable energies, the health and pharmaceutical sector, the agri-food sector, and technological and communication consultancy.

The President of the Government stressed that Algeria is "a good friend to Spain and a strategic partner united by centuries of cooperation and reciprocity", particularly in the energy sector, since this country is one of the main exporters of liquefied natural gas to Spain.

Spain and Algeria, with close to 550 joint companies, are major trading partners in such areas as energy, petro-chemistry, water and transport. In fact, less than a year ago, an underwater fibre optic cable was activated that connects the two countries, which will jointly develop one of the largest refinery projects in the country, in Haoud el-Hamra. In this regard, Pedro Sánchez pointed out that we "must now take a further step", remarking that this collaboration could be extended to such other fields as waste treatment, renewable energies, the agri-food sector, and technological and communication consultancy.

The President of the Government also congratulated the Government of Algeria on its recent decision to make investment by foreign companies more flexible, something that Pedro Sánchez hopes to shore up in new cooperation projects, and in more growth and prosperity for the two countries. "Spanish companies are ready to contribute to the efforts being made by the Government of Algeria to further develop this economic strength", confirmed Pedro Sánchez.

The President of the Government stated that the pandemic has revealed that those transformations that were previously urgent have now become imperative. "We find ourselves at an historic crossroads, which we will respond to at the exceptional level of the times", announced Pedro Sánchez.

"In an international context that moves some countries to wrongly invoke protectionism, now is the right time to open up to strong trade alliances. Now is the time to open up to exports and foreign investment. Now is the time to collaborate at the level of the challenge because this collaboration will lead to the economic development of our countries and job creation in our societies, not just in the present but also for the future that we want to continue sharing", stated the President of the Government. The ecological transition is one of the great transformations on the agenda of the Government of Spain. "We are aware, for example, that the response to the climate emergency does not affect individual countries. The people of Algeria can rely on Spain to improve the efficacy of its productive processes and reduce the climate impact", highlighted Pedro Sánchez. To this end, the two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the environment and sustainable development, which seeks collaboration in climate change matters, the protection of biodiversity, waste management, air and noise pollution and rural development.

Pedro Sánchez stressed that the two governments agree that the management of migratory flows in the Mediterranean is a common challenge facing all countries". "We must ensure that the countries of origin of this migration start to create opportunities for economic development so that young people and other citizens do not decide to leave their countries", stressed the President of the Government. Spain and Algeria are in favour of cooperating in the field of legal migration and send out a decisive message against illegal migration. "What we must do is fight the mafias that traffic human beings".

Algeria is also, due to its strategic position, a leading player in such regional conflicts as Mali and Libya. Pedro Sánchez argued that peace in these regions is not just a legitimate and fundamental right of the millions of people who live there, but also a Global Public Good, since the effects of these conflicts spread across borders to all shores.

The Cervantes route

Pool Moncloa / Fernando CalvoDuring his visit to the country, the President of the Government inaugurated "In the footsteps of Cervantes" - a cultural route on the Spanish writer that covers different points of the Casbah, the oldest part of the city of Algiers. Miguel de Cervantes, then a soldier, lived in captivity in Algiers between 1575 and 1580, where he tried to flee from on four occasions.

Spanish is the third most widely spoken foreign language in the country, after English and French. Algeria also hosts two Cervantes Institute centres, one in the capital and the other in Oran. Pedro Sánchez went further, encouraging further progress to be made. "Let's make this strong friendship between Algeria and Spain an example of concord that prevails in our Mediterranean region".

In this regard, Pedro Sánchez expressed his wish to organise a High-Level Meeting between Spain and Algeria in the second half of 2021. "This will be an excellent opportunity to continue developing all areas of collaboration", concluded the President of the Government.

Non official translation