The 21st session of the Algeria-Tunisia High Joint Commission ended in Tunis with the signing of eight agreements and Memoranda of Understanding in diverse areas, covering, among others, security, social and cultural cooperation.
The session was co-chaired by Prime Minister Yousef Chahed of Tunisia and his Algerian counterpart Abdelmalek Sellal. One of the major highlights of this edition was the exchange of instruments of the ratification of Algeria-Tunisia offshore boundary delimitation.
Improving trade relations between the two countries is currently under consideration according to Chahed as he hinted that they held “consultations on the reactivation of the preferential trade agreement” leading to a free trade zone between the two countries.
Prime Minister Sellal hailed the signing of the security cooperation as a boost to ensuring stronger collaboration between their security forces considering the effects that the Libyan crisis can have on the two countries. He reiterated Algeria’s stance for a peaceful solution to the turmoil while stressing that the UN “must assume its responsibilities in the implementation of the decision taken by the Security Council to safeguard the unity, sovereignty and stability of Libya far from any foreign interference.”
Observers opined that security concerns helped reaching the security cooperation accord as fears increase that the Libyan crisis could empower extremist groups in the region, endangering the security and stability of neighboring countries. Both Tunisia and Algeria have repelled attacks by extremist groups that tried to have foothold in their territories.