Algeria rules out military intervention in Mali

The Algerian Foreign Ministry said that efforts at clarifying the viewpoints in Mali have succeeded.

al-monitor Algerian Senate President Abdelkader Bensalah (R) and Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita review honor guards during a welcoming ceremony at Algiers airport, Jan. 18, 2014. Photo by REUTERS/Louafi Larbi.

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malian crisis, mali, algerian foreign policy, algerian army, algeria, african union

Jun 16, 2014

Abdul Aziz bin Ali Sharif, the director-general for communication at the Algerian Foreign Ministry, said, "The role that Algeria is now playing in Mali to bring closer the viewpoints and efforts between the movements of northern Mali cannot be ignored because it is a pivotal and essential role.” Bin Ali ruled out “Algeria’s participation in settling military conflicts in Mali because it is a constitutional principle that is beyond debate.”

Yesterday, Abdul Aziz bin Ali Sharif said: “Algeria is playing a pivotal and essential role in Mali and considers the diplomatic efforts to be complementary to the efforts of mainly the African Union and of the United Nations. Algeria’s role cannot be ignored because it is pivotal and essential to resolve disputes and because of geographical considerations.”

In a phone conversation with El-Khabar, bin Ali said: “Algeria’s efforts are ongoing: Yesterday, [Algerian] Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra received figures from the international support mission in Mali (under African leadership) and will also receive the envoy of the African Union for the Sahel. And Algeria will host the fourth meeting of the Malian strategic dialogue, which will be attended by three ministers from Mali.”

Bin Ali said, “The Group of Seven noted the role of Algeria in Mali. And we want to note that this role is growing. Algeria needs no penalties nor rewards for that. What’s important for us is for security to be established in the region because it matters to Algeria in the first place.”

In response to a question by El-Khabar about the Algerian military and diplomatic roles in Mali, he said, “The Algerian military’s participation in Mali is completely ruled out because the constitution stipulates that our military cannot fight outside its borders,” noting that “this issue is part of the mechanisms provided by the African Union.”

The day before yesterday, Lamamra said that “efforts to bring the views closer and clarify positions between the three movements of northern Mali have succeeded.” According to the Algerian News Agency, the Arab Azawad movement, the Alliance for the Azawad People and the coordinating body for the national movements and fronts for resistance signed the day before yesterday a preliminary [agreement] that aims to find a “final” solution to the crisis in northern Mali.

After the signing, Lamamra said, “Efforts to bring the views closer (between the three movements of northern Mali) and to clarify the positions have succeeded through the good efforts in Algeria this week. ... The [agreement], which was signed by three Malian movements, sets the parameters of dialogue between the Malians, [a dialogue] that should be comprehensive.”

Lamamra expressed “his conviction that there is a real will for peace, which will be consecrated by all the parties involved in this dialogue.”

For his part, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on the immediate application of the cease-fire agreement in north Mali and on starting political negotiations between the government and the Azawad movements that still dominate the city of Kidal in northern Mali.

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