Algeria President, Army Chief Meet French Defense Minister

22.05.2014 Algeria
Algeria President, Army Chief Meet French Defense Minister

Algeria President, Army Chief Meet French Defense Minister

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Algerian Deputy Minister of National Defense, Chief-of-Staff of the National People's Army (ANP) Lt General Ahmed Gaid Salah on Tuesday received visiting French Minister of Defense Jean-Yves Le Drian (photo).

During the meeting, both officials discussed bilateral military cooperation and ways and means of promoting and developing them for serving mutual interests, the Algerian Ministry of Defense said in a release.

They also considered several regional and international security and military issues of mutual interest, particularly the sub-region of the Sahel, it added.
The French Defense Minister arrived earlier in the day for a two-day visit to Algeria. 

Algerian President Abdulaziz Bouteflika also met on Tuesday with visiting French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

The meeting took place in presence of Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra, Lieutenant General Ahmad Gaid Salah, Deputy Minister of National Defense, Chief of Staff of the People's National Army (ANP) and Minister for Maghreb and African Affairs Abdulkader Messahel, an Algerian presidential statement said.

The statement gave no details about the discussions.

Meanwhile, France has delayed plans to redeploy 3,000 soldiers to fight militants across West Africa, saying it first needs to help deal with a fresh outbreak of violence in northern Mali.

A French military source said no new date had been set for the broader West African deployment, originally scheduled to be completed by end of May.

Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian postponed a May 25 trip to Mali and Chad, where the new broader operation will be based.

He had planned to outline details of the mission that would operate across the Sahel region along the southern edge of the Sahara Desert, to fight Islamist militancy.

France, the United States and Britain agreed over the weekend to increase their cooperation with West African leaders to fight Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram, the source said.

Paris has promised to use Rafale fighter jets from Chad's capital N'Djamena, just 60 km (37 miles) from the Nigerian border, for reconnaissance missions.


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