NATO PA DSCTC engages in trans-Mediterranean security dialogue during visit to Algiers
Brussels, 20 April 2016 – Extending a hand of friendship across the Mediterranean, the Sub-Committee on Transatlantic Defence and Security (DSCTC) of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA) visited Algiers from 12-14 April to engage with Algerian officials as well as other international actors in the region.
Sverre Myrli (Norway), Chairman of the DSCTC, led the delegation of NATO member state parliamentarians representing seven different NATO Allies through its two-day visit. Emphasizing the importance of the visit, Mr. Myrli stated: “We are here to understand the broader picture of North African and Mediterranean security, in which we see Algeria as a key player.” Several members of the delegation also stressed their understanding that Algeria occupies a central role in regional peace and stability, and, therefore, declared their full support for a strengthening of the levels of contact and cooperation between Algeria and the NATO PA.
Over the course of the two-day visit, the topic of terrorism and Algeria’s long experience with the issue dominated discussions. Referring to the ‘black decade’ of the 1990s, when Algeria struggled with a Jihadist-led insurgency, key Algerian leaders noted that Algeria was forced to find a solution to the violence on its own. As several Algerian officials noted, the terrorist dilemma affecting Europe today will require a long-term solution involving all levels of national power, not exclusively security institutions. This understanding was reinforced during a briefing and engaging discussion between the delegation and representatives of the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism (CAERT).
In light of the challenge to her country in particular, Chairwoman of the NATO PA Defence and Security Committee, Nicole Ameline (France), accompanied the visit, noting that of “real importance today is to foster stronger cooperation with our peers in Algeria, as we share common threats and can find better ways of handling these challenges over the long-run through a closer partnership.” Ms. Ameline’s calls for inter-parliamentary cooperation on shared Mediterranean concerns were echoed by her Algerian parliamentary peers throughout the visit.
The NATO PA works closely with non-NATO member parliaments in an effort to foster constructive parliamentary dialogue and capacity building initiatives. Algeria partners with the NATO PA as a Regional Partner /Mediterranean Associate Member, working most closely with the activities of the Assembly’s Mediterranean and Middle East Special Group. The Algerian delegation to the NATO PA confirmed that its members would be attending the upcoming NATO PA Spring Session in Tirana, Albania from 27-30 May, 2016.