12 January 2013

North Africa: Jebali Takes Part in Security Co-Ordination Meeting Between Tunisia, Libya and Algeria

Ghedames — Interim Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali took part, on Saturday in Libyan city of Ghedames, in the tripartite security co-ordination meeting between Tunisia, Libya and Algeria.

The meeting to which took part Libyan PM Ali Zeidan and Algerian PM Abdelmalek Sellal was crowned by the adoption of a joint statement.

Distributed after the meeting, this statement provides for the adoption of a coherent and preventive security approach to face up the security dangers and threats which lurk in the three countries.

It also states the multiplication of visits between the security services' senior officials in the three countries to elaborate a training programme, exchange expertise and end up with the conclusion of a security convention between the three countries.

This document underlines the need to vitalise the judiciary and legal co-operation agreements concluded between the three countries, form working group to set up a joint approach on the security challenges in the region and favour the exchange of data and information on the operations of the terrorist groups, the networks of weapons and drugs trafficking as well as on illegal immigration.

In this statement, the three Premiers proposed the creation of joint control points on the border area between the three countries and strengthening of co-ordination and security co-operation by means of organising concomitant patrols to control the common borders.

They also suggested to boost the structures and the mechanisms specialised in matters of security co-operation to be served in the elaboration of strategies in this field. The statement underlines the need to associate the private sector, the civil society and the specialised governmental sectors to the development of the border zones, intensify co-operation between the trade chambers and organise specialised fairs.

They called to favour the contribution of businessmen to the promotion of economic and trade relations between the three countries and make the most of the exportation and importation opportunities to increase the volume of trade exchanges.

After the meeting, Mr. Hamadi Jebali explained that "the closure of the border between Tunisia and Libya is dictated by a tense security situation," pointing out that "the state understands the social claims and respects the freedom of expression, but does not tolerate looters, drug traffickers and aggressors."

In turn, the Libyan PM said he had agreed with his Tunisian and Algerian counterparts to hold regular security meetings with three or more times a year, in addition to regular meetings between the competent authorities in the three countries.

For his part, the Algerian PM said it is necessary to use all means available to protect the three countries, pointing out that "the security problem between Tunisia, Libya and Algeria is not so easy," insofar as "they are threatened by the rise of tensions in Mali and in Somalia."

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