Algeria’s Foreign Minister, Mourad Medelci, has revealed that his country and Tunisia have adopted a common position rejecting foreign military intervention in northern Mali.
Following a meeting with his Tunisian counterpart, Rafik Abdul Salam, in the Tunisian capital, Medelci said, on Tuesday, that the two countries would seek to unite Malians and fight “terrorism” in northern Mali through a political dialogue.
He added that a meeting will be held within the next fortnight in the Malian capital, Bamako, between Mali’s neighbouring countries and with the participation of Islamist groups to find solutions to the current crisis between the government and these groups. Medelci stressed the need to provide support and military means to restructure the Malian armed forces in order to restore its presence in all parts of the country.
Meanwhile, the Ansar al Din organization and its allies, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the movement of Tawhid and Jihad and the National Front for the Liberation of Ozoad, continue to exert control over northern Mali. This alliance seized control of the region in April 2012 following a military coup that toppled the country’s president, Toumani Toure, and the withdrawal of the national army from the north.
On the prospect of holding a Maghrebian summit, Medelci pointed out that this proposal made by the Tunisian President Mohamed Moncef Marzouki is “respected and welcomed;” underlining though the importance of good preparation for such a summit.
On his part, the Tunisian Foreign Minister, Rafik Abdessalam, described the relations with Algeria as “strong, solid and special”, pointing out that the visit of his Algerian counterpart “will boost development, especially in the border areas and increase investment between the two countries.”