Algerian Labor Minister Tells Albawaba.com: Official Normalization with Israel ‘Unthinkable’
By Hussein Da'ssa
Albawaba.com - Algiers
The Algerian Minister of Labor and Social Security, Abu Jarrah Sultani stressed that normalization with Israel at the official level in Algeria is “utterly unthinkable” unless Israel withdraws its forces to the lines of June 4th, 1967, in compliance with UN resolutions.
In an exclusive interview with Albawaba.com in Algiers, Sultani stressed that "until this condition is met, there will be neither dialogue, nor discussion at any level."
Minister Sultani, a member of Algerian Islamic Society Movement (Hamas), added that the Algerian President Abdul Aziz Bouteflika and the Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs expressed this position on more that one occasion.
However, the minister believes that what he calls the Jewish thought has, to different degrees, reached many countries, including Algeria.
“ The Jewish thought has spread not only in Algeria, but everywhere. It has found room for itself due to their propaganda and has been able to reshape public opinion in many countries.
“Frankly speaking, Algeria stands at the bottom of the list of the Arab countries influenced by that ideology,” he added.
The minister was referring to a recent visit by Algerian journalists to Israel, which was met by angry reactions in the North African country and in the Arab world in general.
Sultani indicated that "this initiative started when some Algerian journalists visited Israel claiming to make press reports in Palestine, the occupied territories and in the center of the enemy’s defense systems. This idea is possible from the medias point of view.”
The Minister, nevertheless, said that it was not made certain that that the visit’s aim was twisted to become “building relations with Israel.”
“If we ever have proof of that, our position will clearly be different.”
In response to questions regarding the social circumastances of the social classes of the Algerian people after 12 years of crisis, violence and terrorism, Sultani said: "the government’s lifting of subsidy on basic consumers’ items and the skyrocketing of prices has created many difficulties.”
He said that , the middle class has completely disappeared as a result, adding that the Algerian society before 1988 consisted of five percent lower class, four percent high class and 91 percent used to fall in the middle class, and thus the society kept its balance then.
“This class disappeared and most of its members have become poor and we have gradually approached a society with 80 percent of its members belonging to the lower poor class.
According to the minister, the number of unemployed in Algeria is 2,300,000, and 12 million are classified as poor.
Sultani revealed that the Algerian government is now implementing a program of social integration through the adoption of a new vision by which consumer-oriented financing is transformed into investment-oriented financing and human resources development.
He stressed that the period between 1989 - 1999 witnessed the emergence of the so-called war nouveau riche, interest groups and economic mafia who exploited the crisis for their own benefits.
"I think these people will not have any impact on the government programs that are working towards containing the security crisis and implementing the law of civil rapport in order to achieve its objectives,” Minister Sultani concluded.
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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