Cameron wraps up Algeria visit, leaves for Libya

Algiers, Jan 31 (IANS) David Cameron Thursday wrapped up his two-day visit to Algeria, the first by a British prime minister since 1962, and headed for Tripoli on a surprise visit to Libya, Xinhua reported.

At the end of talks with Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Cameron said his country and Algeria were united in the fight against terrorism.

"Algeria and Britain have both endured terrorism, and we understand very well each other. Algeria and Britain are united together in the fight against terrorism," Algerian state-run APS news agency quoted Cameron as saying.

"It is not only about sharing the same views, but also to exchange information and to cooperate in the field of counter-terrorism."

"We agreed to set up a strategic bilateral partnership, especially with regard to defence, intelligence and the fight against terrorism," Cameron said.

He termed a terror attack that targeted the gas field facility of Tiguentourine in southeastern Algeria two weeks ago as "terrible", offering condolences to the families of the victims.

Asked about the situation in Mali, Cameron reiterated that his country supports the military intervention in Mali through providing French forces with transport aircraft.

However, he said "Britain won't send troops to fight in Mali".

"Terrorism in Mali is constant and getting stronger. We have to get ready to fight it," Cameron said.

He also stressed that the scourge of terrorism "shouldn't be dealt only with a security perspective".

"We believe that in the future, we must find political, diplomatic and economic solutions to the crisis hitting Mali," the prime minister said.

Cameron hailed his talks with Bouteflika as "excellent", noting that they also tackled ways of boosting bilateral economic and trade relations.

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