Algeria, EU Resolve Import Crisis

Algeria, EU Resolve Import Crisis

Wednesday, 16 May, 2018 - 10:30
Algerian Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel. (AFP)
Algiers - Asharq Al-Awsat
Algeria and the European Union overcame their diplomatic crisis that erupted over European imports to Algeria.

The European Commission complained that Algeria stopped importing several products from Europe without consulting with its partners in the northern bank of the Mediterranean, contrary to the provisions of a partnership agreement signed between the two parties in 2002.

Algerian Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel came back optimistic from Brussels on Tuesday, after “Europe showed an understanding of the difficult economic situation experienced by Algeria,” said a government source.

The Algerian government had decided to stop European imports to encourage domestic production, which since the signing of the agreement, was faced difficulty in entering European markets due to its lower quality standards.

The government source told Asharq Al-Awsat that Algeria believed it held the shorter end of the stick given that lifting the customs conditions on European goods was not matched by what the Algerians had hoped of an influx of investments from the EU.

European investors and businessmen complained about the "instability of legislation" which controls investment in Algeria and protested "bureaucracy" that constrains investment.

Messahel met in Brussels with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.

The Algerian news agency reported that the two officials discussed the implementation of the priorities of their partnership, political dialogue and consultation within the framework of the Neighborhood Policy, which the EU adopts with its partners in the Mediterranean.

Messahel believes the “priorities" would give new meaning to EU relations, political dialogue and governance, the rule of law and promotion of human rights, cooperation and economic and social development, as well as trade and energy issues, environment and sustainable development and strategic and security dialogue.

The FM did not refer to the crisis of importing goods.

Messahel expressed his satisfaction with the political and security dialogue between Algeria and the European Union. He explained that last year he supervised the launch of the first session of the High-level Dialogue on cooperation between the two sides in the fields of regional security and counter-terrorism.

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