German Chancellor Angela Merkel has pushed for closer commercial ties in talks with Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. On a visit to the north African country aimed at diversifying energy supplies she proposed a gas partnership with Algeria.
After talks involving top officials including Algerian Energy Minister Chakib Khelil, who is the current president of OPEC, Merkel said: “We agreed to set up a commission involving the two governments and business leaders from the two countries. This will have repercussions on economic relations between our two countries.”
Algeria supplies 20% of Europe’s gas imports and is the sixth-largest foreign oil supplier to Germany but currently does not set it any gas. Germany relies on imports for 80% of its gas requirements, mainly piped in from Russia and Norway.
Algeria’s media have said supplies of liquefied natural gas shipped by tanker from Algeria could help Germany reduce its dependence on Russian gas, which is an aim of Merkel’s government.