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Algeria moves to remove itself from high-risk list

An airport in Algeria [Sarah Wilkinson‏/Twitter]
An airport in Algeria [Sarah Wilkinson‏/Twitter]

Algiers is attempting to discard its status as an unsafe country for foreigners to visit in order to develop its tourism industry, according to the Ministry of Tourism.

The ministry has approached the French embassy to discuss removing its inclusion from a list that “poses a serious threat to security”.

Algeria has been on the French security list annually with the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs warning its citizens against visiting the country due to the high security risks and the country being “exposed to terrorist risks”.

France is not the only country to designate Algeria as a high-risk country to visit; the US continues to alert its nationals against visiting the North African country. The last warning was issued in June and expressed a certain mistrust of security in Algeria.

Read: Algeria one of 20 African countries on UK spy list

It is not certain what approach the Algerian Ministry of Tourism will undertake to change its international standing which worsened after the hostage crisis in In Amenas in 2013. Unlike Tunisia and Morocco, Algeria has not needed to rely on tourism as a source of income and as a result has fallen behind compared to its neighbours.

Earlier this year, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika dismissed the newly appointed tourism minister Massoud Benagoun just three days into his appointment on the basis that he had had a criminal record. A charge later refuted by Benagoun.

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