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Terzi in Algiers: Italian firms are welcome here

Less bureaucracy, more differentiation. Economic relations between Italy and Algeria are already good and there is still room for improvement, thanks to the “Algerian government’s sincere desire to reduce the weight of bureaucracy and to work on diversifying its economic apparatus”. This was Minister Giulio Terzi’s comment after his first bilateral meetings in Algiers in the course of a visit in the company of a large group of Italian business persons.

“Administrative simplification is a process that is clearly well under way here”, he specified further, “Our firms, they tell me, are welcome”. There is a great desire to work toward diversifying the economic apparatus and industrial production, going beyond the energy sector, which is naturally one of the “pillars in relations with Italy”.

Terzi’s mission to Algeria is aimed at tightening bilateral economic collaboration, as well as in political, regional and security spheres, with special attention to the fight against terrorism and to the fate of two Italians abducted precisely in Algeria, Rossella Urru and Maria Sandra Mariani. This latter subject was the focus of a meeting between Terzi and his counterpart Mourad Medelci. Italy made the request that “in counter-terrorism operations, in which Algeria has a great deal of experience, that the protection of the life, security and well being of the hostages be a central concern”.

In any case, Terzi continued, “Italy is clearly against paying ransoms. We have said this in the past and continue to assert the same in all international forums”. The minister pointed out that both within the UN and on the level of regional cooperation “the payment of ransoms for hostages is a negative thing, since the funds are continuously and inevitably funneled to terrorist groups to give new impetus to their activities”.