On a four-nation tour of North Africa, including a historic visit to Libya, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has pushed for closer counter-terrorism cooperation in a region that is no stranger to Islamist attacks.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice pushed for closer north African counter-terrorism cooperation on Saturday on a tour of an oil-rich region hit by attacks blamed on al Qaeda.
Rice, who arrived in staunch
"The cooperation here is good," she said after talks with Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, adding the two countries had affirmed their "strong ties" in the discussions.
"But there is always more that you can do to tighten sharing of information, to make sure you have all the right channels to give technical support in terms of the terrorism threat," she said, referring to north African states generally.
"It is not a secret that it is a problem that has really been very salient in the
An estimated 125 people were killed in an upsurge of political violence in
The periodic violence worries many in the region because the country on the southern shores of the Mediterranean is a major energy exporter to
An Islamist revolt began in 1992 in
Rice said she also discussed security with President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali on a visit to
Security concerns focus on oil- and gas-exporting
Rice said she had raised the question of Algerians held at the
"It is important to have both security assurances and human rights protection and we feel we have done well with
Human Rights Watch this week urged Rice to press
Algerian officials have said any return of Algerians could only happen "without any condition or constraint".
Hundreds of Algerian Islamist fighters joined the Afghan opposition to Soviet occupation in the 1980s and became involved with what is now al Qaeda in the 1990s.
Rice also said she had pushed for deeper political reform and free elections on her visit to
On Friday Rice made the first trip by a
Date created : 2008-09-07