BOUKADOUMThe Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sabri Boukadoum, said on Wednesday May 27th that "Algeria, because of its African depth, remains faithful to the principles and noble objectives of the pan-African organization".

In a message, on the occasion of Africa Day (May 25), which coincides with the 57th anniversary of the creation of the pan-African organization, the African Union (AU), Boukadoum said: "Algeria remains faithful to the principles and noble objectives of our African organization, through its commitment to the promotion of peace, the consolidation of our continent's potential to take charge of its problems and the contribution to the realization of inter-African complementarity".

He stressed, in this sense, that the annual celebration of Africa Day is an opportunity to pay tribute to the founding fathers and all those who have always campaigned for the realization of inter-African integration.

"It is also a stopover for us to reiterate our fidelity to the values and principles of our Organization and our commitment to pursue the process of building a prosperous and united Africa, and a propitious moment to assess the steps our continent has taken on the road to stability and development," he added.

Recalling that this anniversary comes this year at a time when the world is going through a critical situation due to the impact of the pandemic of the new Coronavirus on all aspects of life, health, human and socio-economic, Boukadoum also noted the political and economic changes resulting from this crisis.

This pandemic, which knows no borders, "is an alarm bell that has raised awareness of the true reality that we must apprehend with wisdom, serenity and foresight".

For Boukadoum, this crisis, which has restored to the State its central role in protecting the lives and livelihoods of its citizens and undeniably revealed the need to strengthen national capacity in health care, social protection and care for vulnerable groups, has demonstrated "the impossibility of coping with this situation without close international cooperation and solidarity".

The AU, he said, under the enlightened leadership of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, has embarked on "the crystallization of a common African vision and a rapid response based mainly on capacity building of member states".

The creation of an African Fund to fight the spread of the pandemic is another manifestation of the momentum of African solidarity in support of joint efforts against the pandemic, Boukadoum said.

In this regard, he commended the "judicious" decision of President Ramaphosa to appoint five African Envoys, including the former Finance Minister, Abderrahmane Benkhalfa, to mobilize international economic and financial support with a view to strengthening our continent's capacity to face the challenges imposed by this crisis.

These projects are "an indisputable proof of its will to transform continental integration into a tangible reality, particularly in the framework of the efforts of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) Initiative, which has enabled our continent to set up an African Union Development Agency "AUDA-NEPAD", he argued.

In this regard, the Minister recalled the decision of the President of the Republic to create the Algerian Agency for International Cooperation for Solidarity and Development (ALDEC), which is part of this approach to boost the dynamics of cooperation with sister African countries in various fields, economic, social, humanitarian, cultural, religious, educational, scientific and technical.

In addition, Boukadoum expressed Algeria's "deep concern" over the serious developments in the situation in Libya in recent weeks, which unfortunately confirm "the opposition of regional and international agendas which seem to agree only on keeping Libya in a situation of chaos and a theatre of proxy wars and settling scores at the expense of the blood of the children of the brotherly Libyan people".

The influx of arms into Libya "in flagrant violation" of international resolutions "has not only fuelled the civil war, but has also encouraged the arming of terrorist groups, which now threaten the security of the region and are hampering the process of a political settlement".

Algeria, animated by the spirit of solidarity with the Libyan people, and within the framework of coordination and consultation with all the Libyan parties, neighbouring countries, the AU and the UN, will spare no effort "to bring the protagonists together and bring their views closer together," Boukadoum stressed.

He reaffirmed, in this sense, "Algeria's readiness to host the Libyan dialogue and its insistence on the central role to be played by the neighbouring countries and the AU in the UN process for the settlement of the Libyan crisis.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs further stressed that Algeria was working "in support" of the efforts to restore security and stability in Mali through its commitment to contribute efficiently in accompanying its Malian brothers in the implementation of the clauses of the Peace and Reconciliation Agreement in Mali, which emerged from the Algiers process, as an optimal framework for the restoration of stability and security in this brotherly country.

These steps, he added, "cannot be completed without the continuation of our efforts in the fight against the scourge of terrorism, which strikes vast areas of our continent, particularly in the Sahel region and the Lake Chad basin as far as the Horn of Africa".

In the wake of its direct geographical space, Algeria regrets "the failure to achieve the expected momentum in the Western Sahara issue, which has still not been resolved," Boukadoum continued.

In this regard, he recalled that the United Nations and the Security Council had been working for many years to implement the Settlement Plan for the question of Western Sahara, which is based on the inalienable right of the Sahrawi people to self-determination.

"It is regrettable to see the peace process, since the resignation of the Personal Envoy of the UN SG, mired in a bumpy road," he added.

Reiterating his call for "sincere efforts" to resolve the only outstanding decolonization issue in Africa, Boukadoum reiterated "his condemnation of the desperate attempts" to impose the policy of fait accompli in flagrant violation of the AU Constitutive Act and the UN doctrine on decolonization.

The Head of the Algerian diplomacy said he was convinced that these manoeuvres "cannot undermine the just cause of the Saharawi people".

In conclusion, Boukadoum wished that the current health crisis be quickly overcome to open new prospects for our continent towards the realization of its integration project, as dreamed by the founding fathers.

After reiterating Algeria's commitment to the principles and noble objectives of the AU, he underscored the importance that Algeria attaches to structuring projects, such as the Trans-Saharan Railway, the optic fiber link and the Algiers-Lagos gas pipeline.                                                                               

                                                                                                                                       El Moudjahid May 28th 2020