Algeria and the UK form 'security partnership' to combat terrorism
Britain and Algeria have formed a security partnership that could lead to greater intelligence-sharing and future crisis planning between the two countries, UK Prime Minister David Cameron said on Wednesday during a visit to the North African country.
Cameron’s trip, alongside Sir John Sawers, the head of Britain's international spy agency MI6, follows a deadly attack on Algeria’s Ain Amena’s natural gas plant, run by British oil giant BP, in mid-January.
The attack, which was carried out by militants linked to al-Qaeda, led to a four-day siege on the complex by Algerian forces, leaving at least 37 hostages and 29 militants dead.
At a press conference on Wednesday, following talks with Algeria’s Prime Minister, Abdelmalek Sellal, Cameron called for a “tough and intelligent” response to the growing threat from Islamist militants in the region.
"Both Britain and Algeria are countries that have suffered from terrorism and we understand each other's suffering,” he said.
He went onto explain that the two countries have agreed on a “strengthened partnership that looks at how we combat terrorism and how we improve security of this region.
"This should be about sharing our perspectives, about the risks and dangers that there are, but also sharing expertise," he said.
The British-Algeria partnership will look at securing borders, countering roadside bombs and tackling extremist propaganda.
Britain also has invited Algeria to take part in a joint contingency planning exercise this Spring to share experiences in crisis response.
Teams of advisers due to report back to their respective governments over the summer.