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Algeria declares its readiness to mediate between Iran and Bahrain

February 8, 2014 at 2:54 pm

Algeria’s Foreign Minister, Mourad Medelci, announced on Monday that his country is willing to act as a mediator between Iran and Bahrain in the best interest of the two states. Speaking at a joint press conference with Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Khaled bin Ahmad Al-Khalifa, Mr Medelci said that he will convey Bahrain’s message to Iran in order to ease the tension between Manama and Tehran. Shaikh Al-Khalifa said that Bahrain won’t oppose any such Algerian-led initiative.

Relations between Bahrain and Iran have been strained against the backdrop of accusations from the government in Manama that Tehran has supported opposition groups in Bahrain for more than two years.

When asked about Syria, Medelci reiterated Algeria’s reservations about giving the vacant seat at the Arab League to the Syrian opposition coalition. He also confirmed that Algeria deals with states, not non-state groups, but pointed out that if the opposition takes power in Damascus his country will deal with it, as happened in Libya. “Our position is based on the charter of the Arab League,” said the minister, “which says clearly that a state’s seat should not be given to non-state actors.”

Expressing his hope that the issue of Algerian prisoners in Iraq would get resolved through the intervention of the Iraqi president, Medelci admitted, for the first time, that the situation of the Algerian diplomats who were abducted by jihadist groups from the consulate in northern Mali in early April 2012 is very difficult.