Algeria, U.S. agree to hold bilateral strategic dialogue

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ALGIERS, Feb.11 (Xinhua) -- Algeria and the United States on Sunday agreed to hold the fifth Bilateral Strategic Dialogue on Security and Counterterrorism in June in Algiers, Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The ministry source said the conference is set to assess bilateral counterterrorism partnership amid emerging threats in the North African region.

A meeting was held in Algiers on Sunday between Algerian Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel and visiting Principal Deputy Coordinator for Counterterrorism at the U.S. Department of State Alina Romanowski.

The statement quoted Romanowski as saying that "Algeria is a key partner for the U.S. in the fight against terrorism and the U.S. is keen to further exchange experiences and strengthening cooperation with Algeria."

Messahel called for efforts made by Algeria in its capacity as coordinator of Africa for the prevention from radicalization and the fight against terrorism in the continent.

He added that Algeria is due to host in April a conference on the international fight against terrorism and drying up financial sources of this scourge, noting this conference will be organized as part of the Global Counterterrorism Forum of fight against terrorism in collaboration with the African Union.

Messahel explained to the U.S. official the approach of the African continent to deal with prevailing security challenges, including the threat of the return of foreign fighters.

The AU is worried that the return of African fighters would undermine peace and security in the continent, as the fighters could be used by their chief to form new terrorist cells and conduct terrorist attacks.

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