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The New Arab

Algerian foreign minister criticises EU human rights interference

Lamamra said Algeria had given more to the EU than it had received [Getty]

Date of publication: 8 June, 2015

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Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra said the EU should stop interfering in Algeria's internal affairs.

The Algerian Foreign Minister criticised European Union (EU) “interference” in human rights issues in Algeria Friday and said the EU should “respect the sovereignty of Algeria,” according to Algeria Press Service.

In response to a question about observations made by the EU on human rights in Algeria at a press conference after a meeting of the EU-Algeria Association Council in Brussels, Ramtane Lamamra said "If there is a subculture that requires interference in the affairs of justice outside, Algeria does not adopt this culture."

Last month the European Parliament called on the Algerian authorities to guarantee the right to freedom of expression and association, peaceful assembly and the right to a fair trial.

If there is a subculture that requires interference in the affairs of justice outside, Algeria does not adopt this culture.
-Ramtane Lamamra

The parliament said that the harassment and intimidation of labour rights activists and human rights defenders violated the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.

It also requested the EU foreign policy chief and member states to ensure the EU took a clear and principled position on human rights in Algeria.

According to the French website Algerie-Focus.com, Lamamra was critical of the relationship between the EU and Algeria, saying: "In this partnership, Algeria gave more than it has received."

He called for the relationship between the two to be rebalanced to benefit both parties, mentioning unfavourable tariff and non-tariff barriers on Algerian goods, declining European investment in Algeria and state oil company Sonatrach’s declining share of the European gas market.

Lamamra said the agreement to go beyond the strictly commercial aspect to include development.

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