Britain, Algeria boost counter-terrorism strategy: minister

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Britain and Algeria will step up cooperation on security with the creation of a committee on counter-terrorism, a British minister said Friday.

"We face a common threat from Al-Qaeda and in order to counter this there is a need for the nations to work more effectively together...," said Alistair Burt, the British Foreign Office Minister for the Middle East and North Africa, in a statement.

"The bilateral committee is a manifestation of the determination of both the UK and Algeria to confront terrorism," he said, adding that it would involve cooperation on training and intelligence sharing with a first meeting due to take place in London in two weeks.

Burt also urged Algeria to use its influence to persuade Iran to push forward with long-stalled nuclear talks with world powers that Iran has proposed take place on December 5.

"Algeria is the friend of both countries... at present Iran needs its friends to explain to it what a dangerous course it is," he said, referring to the recent stalemate.

Burt's comments followed talks with his Algerian counterpart Abdelkader Messahel and Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci.

© 2010 AFP

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