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Algerian ministers defends visit to Damascus

4 May 2016 11:00


The Algerian minister for the Arab League has defended his visit recent to Syria amid criticism from the opposition parties.

“The visit aimed to show our support to the Syrian people in the face of terrorism which Algeria has long suffered from and to convey a message to our Syrian brothers that there is no substitute for national reconciliation, political solution and unity,” Abdelkader Messahel said Monday.

Messahel, who is also minister for Maghreb Affairs and the African Union, said his visit to Damascus coincided with the 60th anniversary of Syria’s independence.

The Algerian minister further said that the visit was not part of any mediation efforts by his country to settle the Syrian crisis.

Algerian opposition parties have criticized Messahel’s visit to Damascus last week during which he held talks with a number of high-ranking Syrian officials, including President Bashar al-Assad and Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi.

During a meeting on April 25, Assad and Messahel discussed the “danger of terrorism and the need for unifying the efforts of all countries to fight this danger,” according to Syria’s official SANA news agency.

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