MOSCOW, February 20. /TASS/. Cooperation in defense-related technologies and resolution of conflicts in Africa and the Middle East dominated the agenda of the talks that the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, and his Algerian counterpart, Abdelkader Messahel, held on Monday.
Lavrov pointed out dynamic development of Russian-Algerian relations in trade and defense-related technologies and mentioned the 2001 bilateral declaration on strategic partnership.
"We have fair prospects and we’ve already scored good results in what concerns cooperation in defense technologies," he said. "It’s important to fulfill the plans we have in the sphere. We’re set to do this and our Algerian friends feel likewise."
Abdelkader Messahel called attention to fruitful joint efforts in struggle with terrorism and extremism. Lavrov voiced satisfaction in this context with Algeria’s joining the international databank created by the Russian Federal Security Service FSB for accumulating information on international terrorists and militants and their migrations.
Lavrov and Messahel noted the identity of their countries’ positions on peace settlement in Syria, the Sahara/Sahel region, Syria, and the zone of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Lavrov praised Algeria’s effort to assist the peace process in Libya.
"We think that, apart from Algeria that displays genuine interestedness in switching the situation to the constructive track, neighboring countries like Tunisia and Egypt are playing a beneficial role, too," he said.
Lavrov noted the highly negative impact of the situation in the Sahara/Sahel region on developments in Libya. "The flow of the foreign militants and arms smuggling through Libya continues and we share the opinion that solution of problems of the Saraha/Sahel region will be faster after the Libyan crisis is settled."
"We’ll continue assistance to the regional countries in consolidating their antiterrorist potential," he said.
Lavrov and Messahel singled out cooperation in the energy sector as an especially promising sphere, including the one in the format of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum [GECF].
"Algeria is setting up specialized institutes the GECF forum and Russian companies and state corporations have interest in active assistance to this initiative," Lavrov said
He said Algeria was going to accept Russia’s invitation to join the International Association of Oil Transporters [IAOT]. "Our common objective is to maintain the prices of oil and gas at a level that would be acceptable and beneficial for everyone," Messahel indicated.
The two ministers reaffirmed the interest of their countries in a buildup of ties in the humanitarian sphere.
"Russia is increasing the number of university grants for Algerian students and we’re glad to see it," Messahel. "In addition to it, we have fair opportunities for cooperation in agriculture, tourism, and other sectors."
After the talks, they signed an intergovernmental agreement on the lifting visa requitements for the holders of diplomatic and ‘service’ passports.