Algerian ambassador to Tehran: “Iran and Algeria have taken similar positions in many international issues”.

TEHRAN, 1 Nov, MNA: H.E. Abdelmoun’aam Ahriz, Algerian Ambassador to Tehran answered to Mehr News questions on the occasion of the anniversary of the Algerian National Day on November 1st .The interview was about the relations between Iran and Algeria, possible impartment in bilateral trade post-JCPOA, and cooperation in fighting against terrorism.

Exclusive Interview - November 2015

Algeria and the Islamic Republic of Iran are considered as important countries in North Africa and the Middle East. What are the areas of convergence between the two countries?

Algeria and Iran have common views on a wide range of international issues and maintain close coordination and dialogue in the bilateral, regional and international forums. Both countries stress the need for international community, to undertake reforms in the United Nations system, stand against the political manipulation of issues related to the human rights, promote an equilibrium between the 3 pillars of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the urgency of establishing Middle East WMD-free zone, refuse the external interference in internal affairs and military interventions, advocate the resolution of internal and external disputes through dialogue and peaceful means, supported the fight of Palestinian people and call for a global strategy to combat terrorism and all forms of extremism. On the economic level, the two countries have a common goal to stabilize the price of oil in the international market and work together inside OPEC to concretize this objective.

How could Iran and Algeria cooperate on issues including the crises in Syria, Yemen and Libya?

Iran and Algeria are important countries in their respective region. Through the mechanism of political consultations, the high officials of the two countries have regular consultations on regional issues, such as the situation in Yemen, Syria and Libya. Throughout these consultations a common vision emerges about the rejecting of the external interference in internal affairs of these countries and the military interventions and the necessity of resolution of these crises through dialogue and peaceful means. Our countries are very active in advocating and researching a political solution to these dramatic issues.

ISIL presence in North Africa seems to be growing which is a threat to countries in that region. How can Iran and Algeria work together to fight ISIL and other terrorist groups?

Terrorist groups’ new strategy of occupying lands and territories represents a serious challenge to cohesion, stability and security in our region and all over the world. The fighting against the proliferation of terrorist groups and against the various expressions of violent extremism required the presence of a strong state, based on the strength of law, and on a coherent international cooperation. In this regard Iran and Algeria have already been working together through exchange of information, experience and expertise to tackle this threat. They are also coordinating their efforts, in international fora, aiming to forge a holistic and methodic global strategy of fighting terrorism, violent extremism and radicalization.

What opportunities does Iran’s nuclear deal provide for expansion of ties between Iran and Algeria? How does the deal address opportunities to further expand relations between Iran and Algeria?

As you know, Algeria has taken a principled stance in international fora to support the Iranian legitimate rights enshrined in NPT.  Algeria welcomed the nuclear deal between Iran and the Group 5+1 which it considered as a major victory for Iranian diplomacy and a great achievement of Iranian people. The international sanctions, above all, those related to financial restrictions, have prevented Algerian and Iranian businessmen from extending their partnership, and their removal will surely permit a qualitative and quantitative expansion of our economic relations.

In his meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif on last September, Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal urged activation of new economic grounds for cooperation between Iran and Algeria. What are those of cooperation?

As M. Javad Zarif is always saying, Iran and Algeria don’t set ceiling or limit for cooperation between them, so all areas of common interest can be integrated in the scoop of bilateral cooperation. On the economic level, we can name energy, mining, industry and services as the main fields where a strong mutual interest is expressed by Algerian and Iranian businessmen.

The second bilateral commission, which will take place in Algiers, in mid-December of this year, under the co-chairmanship of Iranian First Vice-president Mr. Ishaq Jahangiri and Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal, provide an excellent opportunity to build renewed momentum and give new impetus to the bilateral relations.

Regarding the cultural week underway in Tehran, what potentials of cultural cooperation do you see between the two nations? What are your plans for boosting such ties?

Let me fist congratulate Iran for the resounding and overwhelming success of its cultural week held in Algerian cities of Constantine and Algiers, from 9 to 13 October 2015. The Algerian public was very impressed by the excellent performance of Iranian artists and highly enjoyed the refinement of Iranian culture.

The Algerian Embassy, in the framework of celebrating of the 61st anniversary of the Glorious War of Liberation, took the initiative to organize, in Milad Tower, from 27 to 30 October 2015, cultural days aiming to introduce Algerian culture, history, gastronomy, handicraft, and touristic potentialities to the Iranian public.

These two events is a proof of the existing excellent cultural exchanges between our two countries, which can be further perfected and diversified. I think that the organization of cultural weeks alternatively must be more regular and we have also to privilege direct contacts between our peoples and artists through our respective cultural institutions. Algeria will actively participate in the festivities of “Mashhad Capital of the Islamic Culture” scheduled in 2017, which offer a great opportunity to show the rich Algerian heritage to Iranian public.

Algerian ambassador to Tehran: “Iran and Algeria have taken similar positions in many international issues”.