British Prime Minister David Cameron flew to Algeria on Wednesday and told reporters that the gas complex attack and a French-led military operation in Mali “remind us of the importance of partnership between Britain and countries in the region.”
“What I want to do is work with the Algerian government and with other governments in the region to make sure that we do everything that we can to combat terrorism in a way that is both tough and intelligent, and uses everything we have at our disposal, which will make them safer, make us safer, make the world safer,” Cameron said on British television from Algiers.
“What is required in countries like Mali, just as in countries like Somalia on the other side of Africa, is that combination of a tough approach on security, aid, politics, settling grievances and problems,” he said.
Cameron headed to the North African state after 37 foreign hostages were killed when Islamists stormed the In Amenas facility, several Britons were killed.
He was accompanied by his National Security Adviser and a trade envoy, Downing Street said, while British reports said the head of Britain's foreign intelligence service MI6 was also on the trip.
“The talks are expected to focus on strengthening our security cooperation and seeing how we can work in partnership with the Algerians to deliver a tough, patient and intelligent response to tackle the terrorist threat,” his spokeswoman said.
“We want to stand side-by-side with countries in the region working together to overcome the threat.”
A statement from the Algerian Presidency called the visit a chance “to renew political dialogue” with Britain.
After his arrival, Cameron placed flowers at the monument to martyrs of the Algerian war of independence at El Madania, overlooking the capital.
Britain on Tuesday said it would deploy more than 300 military personnel in a non-combat role to help the French-led military action against Islamist rebels in Mali, Algeria's southern neighbor.
Cameron was in Algeria en route to Liberia, where he co-chairs an international development conference on Friday.
Source: AFP; Al Arabiya