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World > Africa > Algeria > Relations with U.S. (Notes)

Algeria - Relations with U.S. (Notes)


U.S.-ALGERIAN RELATIONS
In July 2001, President Bouteflika became the first Algerian President to visit the White House since 1985. This visit, followed by a second meeting in November 2001, a meeting in New York in September 2003, and President Bouteflika?s participation at the June 2004 G8 Sea Island Summit, is indicative of the growing relationship between the United States and Algeria. Since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States, contacts in key areas of mutual concern, including law enforcement and counter-terrorism cooperation, have intensified. Algeria publicly condemned the terrorist attacks on the United States and has been strongly supportive of the international war against terrorism. The United States and Algeria consult closely on key international and regional issues. The pace and scope of senior-level visits has accelerated. In June 2003, then-Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Marc Grossman traveled to Algeria, followed by the October 2003 and May 2004 visits of then-Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs William Burns. Then-Secretary of State Colin Powell visited Algiers in December 2003, and in April 2006, Algerian Foreign Minister Bedjaoui met with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

In 2005, U.S. direct investment in Algeria totaled $4.1 billion, mostly in the petroleum sector, which U.S. companies dominate. American companies also are active in the banking and finance, services, pharmaceuticals, medical facilities, telecommunications, aviation, seawater desalination, energy production, and information technology sectors. Algeria is the United States 10th-largest market in the Middle East/North African region. U.S. exports to Algeria totaled $1.2 billion in 2005, an increase of more than 50% since 2003. U.S. imports from Algeria grew from $4.7 billion in 2002 to $10.8 billion in 2005, primarily in oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG). In March 2004, President Bush designated Algeria a beneficiary country for duty-free treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP).

In July 2001, the United States and Algeria signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, which established common principles on which the economic relationship is founded and forms a platform for negotiating a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) and a free-trade agreement (FTA). The two governments meet on an ongoing basis to discuss trade and investment policies and opportunities to enhance the economic relationship. Within the framework of the U.S.-North African Economic Partnership (USNAEP), the United States provided about $1.0 million in technical assistance to Algeria in 2003. This program supported and encouraged Algerias economic reform program and included support for World Trade Organization accession negotiations, debt management, and improving the investment climate. In 2003, USNAEP programs were rolled over into Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) activities, which provide funding for political and economic development programs in Algeria.

Cooperation between the Algerian and U.S. militaries continues to grow. Exchanges between both sides are frequent, and Algeria has hosted senior U.S. military officials. In May 2005, the United States and Algeria conducted their first formal joint military dialogue in Washington, DC. The NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe and Commander, U.S. European Command, General James L. Jones visited Algeria in June and August 2005, and then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld visited Algeria in February 2006. The United States and Algeria have also conducted bilateral naval and Special Forces exercises, and Algeria has hosted U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ship visits. In addition, the United States has a modest International Military Education and Training (IMET) Program ($850,000 in 2006) for training Algerian military personnel in the United States, and Algeria participates in the Department of Defense?s Counter-Terrorism Fellowship Program ($180,000 in 2005).

The United States has implemented modest university linkages programs and has placed two English Language Fellows, the first since 1993, with the Ministry of Education to assist in the development of English as a Second Language (ESL) courses at the Ben Aknoune Training Center. In 2004, Algeria was again the recipient of a grant under the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation. That fund provided a grant of $39,000 to restore the Basilica of St. Augustine in Annaba. Algeria also received an $80,000 grant to fund microscholarships to design and implement an American English-language program for Algerian high school students in four major cities.

Initial funding through the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) has been allocated to support the work of Algerias developing civil society through programming that provides training to journalists, businesspersons, legislators, Internet regulators, and the heads of leading nongovernmental organizations. Additional funding through the State Departments Human Rights and Democracy Fund will assist civil society groups focusing on the issues of the disappeared, and Islam and democracy.

In August 2005, then-Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Richard G. Lugar, led a Presidential Mission to Algeria and Morocco to oversee the release of the remaining 404 Moroccan POWs held by the Polisario Front in Algeria. Their release removed a longstanding bilateral obstacle between Algeria and Morocco.

The official U.S. presence in Algeria is expanding following over a decade of limited staffing, reflecting the general improvement in the security environment. During the past three years, the U.S. Embassy has moved toward more normal operations and now provides most embassy services to the American and Algerian communities.

Principal U.S. Officials
Ambassador--Robert S. Ford
Deputy Chief of Mission--Thomas F. Daughton
Political/Economic Chief--Steven C. Rice
Economic/Commercial Officer--Nicholle Manz
Foreign Commercial Service Officer (resident in Casablanca)--Rick Ortiz
Foreign Agriculture Service Officer (resident in Rabat)--Mike Fay
Consular Officer--Joshua Fischell
Management Officer--Patricia Perrin
Public Affairs Officer--Matthew Goshko
Defense Attaché--Col. Steven Drago, USAF
Office of Defense Cooperation--Lt. Col. John Lacy, USAF
Regional Security Officer--Melissa Foynes

The U.S. Embassy is located at 4 Chemin Cheikh Bachir El-Ibrahimi, Algiers; tel. 213 (21) 691255; fax: 213 (21) 693 979.


Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Historical Highlights - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.



Facts at a Glance
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Climate
Current Time
Ranking Positions


Notes and Commentary
People
Economy
Government and Political Conditions
Historical Highlights
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.





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