ALGIERS, 8 January 2021 – US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker was in Algiers Thursday, one stop in his regional tour to discuss regional conflicts.
The Algerian foreign ministry said the visit allowed the two countries to discuss “bilateral, reginal and international issues of common interests”.
Schenker arrived Algiers from Jordan accompanied by the US Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett and the US Air Force Commander in Europe and Asia General Jeffrey Harrigian.
The conflict in Libya and the recent decision by Washington to recognize Moroccan sovereignty over the disputed Western Sahara were among the topics discussed, according to sources close to Algerian Foreign Minister Sabri Boukadoum.
In a tweet, Boukadoum wrote: “The meeting was a chance to hold a complete and frank assessment of bilateral ties between the two countries and exchange views on the role expected by the United States to confront current challenges on the international and regional levels.”
Algeria has borders with Libya and is the best-known supporter of the Polisario Front, which has, since the 1970s, led the campaign for the independence of Western Sahara as the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR).
Morocco, another neighbor of Algeria, was also discussed, according to press reports.
Algeria’s Prime Minister openly criticized the deal godfathered by the United States for the recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara.
During a visit to France at the time the deal was annoujnced, Algerian Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad slammed what he called “foreign manoeuvres which aim to destabilize” his country.
The international community supports a fragile ceasefire in Libya where elctions have been scheduled for December 2021.