Belgium, Algeria to boost bilateral ties

2016-12-08 02:19:35 GMT2016-12-08 10:19:35(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

ALGIERS, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika held talks with visiting Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel on Wednesday and both sides agreed to enhance cooperation, the official APS news agency reported.

The talks covered a wide range of issues, including ways to establish a smart bilateral partnership, Michel told reporters after the meeting.

Both sides discussed illegal migration, which Michel said "can be addressed with mutual respect and pragmatism."

The meeting was also attended by Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal and Foreign Minister Remtane Lamamra.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Belgian official met with his Algerian counterpart. The pair held a joint press conference, vowing to give a new impetus to bilateral cooperation.

"We have had dense and intense exchanges on important issues," Michel said, adding that both sides have agreed to work together to identify various areas where partnerships can be strengthened.

Michel said that they have the potential to strengthen partnerships "in the fields of economic development and strategic investments," including infrastructure, energy, transportation, petrochemical and pharmaceutical industry.

For his part, Sellal said: "We need a strong partnership and we have agreed to focus on some sectors which could bring added value to our national economy, including industry, agriculture, digital and general services, because Belgian companies have great experience in these fields."

Michel and Sellal also exchanged views on the fight against terrorism, "including sharing intelligence information and work together on the process of curbing extremism and radicalization," said Michel.

The Belgian top official was quick to relate economic development to security, saying "stability and security are required to achieve any economic development."

Before leaving Algeria, Michel invited Sellal to visit Belgium to "continue boosting bilateral partnership at a high political level."