The Algerian ambassador yesterday called for a global, coordinated fight against terrorism that also includes promoting economic development in countries that breed Islamic extremists.
“Now is the first time that all countries, big and small, are in a kind of disarray facing this global and transnational threat,” he added, referring to terrorist groups inspired by Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda network.
Mr. Kherbi called for international efforts to jointly target terrorists, while encouraging economic development.
“Algeria views security as inseparable from development,” he said.
Mr. Kherbi said his nation presents a textbook case in how to combat terrorism, which infested the North African nation in the 1990s after the military intervened when the extremist Islamic Salvation Front was close to winning the country’s first multiparty elections. A 10-year conflict broke out in 1992. The government crushed the main rebel movement by 2002, while other guerrillas accepted a government amnesty.
“My government brings to the table an unparalleled anti-terrorism experience,” the ambassador said, adding that Algeria “maintains a vigilant front line” against extremism.
Mr. Kherbi said terrorists quietly festered in Europe in the last decade.
“The reality was that European countries were harboring terrorists in the name of the rule of law,” he said, referring to immigrants granted political asylum there. “Before 9/11, nothing was done.”
“Algeria is also an important trading partner of the United States, a rich country with some of the largest natural-gas reserves in the world. As a supplier of liquefied natural gas, Algeria is involved in the energy security of the United States.”
Mr. Kherbi, ambassador here since May 2005, also served as Algeria’s envoy to Austria, Brazil, China, Colombia, Indonesia and Spain. Before his assignment in Washington, he was the international security adviser to Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
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