Algeria will not be joining the US-led international coalition to combat the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria because it refuses to interfere in the internal affairs of other states under the pretext of “fighting terrorism”, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed news website quoted Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra as saying.
During a press conference with his Portuguese counterpart Rui Machete in Algiers, Lamamra told reporters that: “Algeria is coordinating bilaterally with the majority of the coalition’s partners who are committed to fighting terrorism while at the same time respecting United Nations’ principles for international cooperation against terrorism.”
However, he stressed that: “Algeria requires any effort to combat terrorism to respect national sovereignty and the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other states.”
Algeria had also expressed reservations during an Arab foreign ministers’ meeting in Cairo last week about Washington’s efforts to involve Arab states in its military alliance against the Islamic State, but did say it would cooperate with the alliance on a security level and to exchange information.
Lamamra pointed out that Algeria’s experience with terrorism indicates that relying on the military to solve this problem does not suffice to reduce the ever-expanding phenomenon of terrorism. He added that: “Algeria believes these situations require a complex package of measures that are not confined to a military solution alone.”
On behalf of the Algerian government, Lamamra condemned what he called “the heinous acts of terrorism carried out by the Islamic state,” noting that the organisation “gives itself a name it does not deserve because Islam is innocent of these heinous terrorist acts”.