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Italy, Algeria agree to expand bilateral cooperation

Italian FM Luigi Di Maio said the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding [Getty]

Date of publication: 5 December, 2020

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Algeria and Italy have agreed to develop their economic and commercial cooperation.

Algeria and Italy agreed to diversify cooperation beyond the energy sector, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said Saturday during a visit to the North African country.

Algiers and Rome have developed a "solid partnership" in the economic and commercial sectors, Di Maio said, according to the official Algerian news agency APS.

He expressed hoped that Italy could "diversify its areas of cooperation with Algeria, beyond the hydrocarbons sector", citing fields including infrastructure and technological innovation.

The two countries also signed a memorandum of understanding to develop bilateral cooperation, Di Maio said, after meeting with his Algerian counterpart, Sabri Boukadoum.

Energy plays an important role in economic relations between the two countries.

Italian energy giant ENI has been present in Algeria since 1981.

Together with state firm Sonatrach, it manages the Transmed gas pipeline that runs from Algeria to Italy via Tunisia.

Discussions also addressed the issue of immigration.

Di Maio noted "the importance Italy places on the problem of illegal migration flows and its desire to reinforce cooperation with Algeria to confront this scourge", APS quoted him as saying.

Algerians accounted for two-thirds of the 13,400 "detections of illegal border crossings in the Western Mediterranean" in the first 10 months of this year, European Union border agency Frontex said in November.

Italy's foreign ministry said on Twitter that the situation in conflict-ridden Libya and the Sahel were also on the agenda, along with the fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Di Maio also met with Algerian Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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