Merkel visits Algiers to enhance bilateral ties with the country

Merkel visits Algiers to enhance bilateral ties with the country
By Katy Dartford
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It's the German Chancellor's first visit to Algeria in a decade


Angela Merkel has made a one-day visit to Algiers to enhance bilateral ties and discuss regional issues, migration and economy.

The German Chancellor laid a wreath at the Algiers sanctuary of martyrs before a working session on Monday evening with Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia and Algerian Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel.

Merkel welcomed Algeria's commitment to repatriating rejected asylum-seekers during her visit.

In a joint news conference, Merkel and Ouyahia said they agreed on a process to send about 700 Algerian migrants identified as illegally staying in Germany back to their country.

"We talked about how to make the process more efficient, so that those who have no right to stay will be returned," she said.

At the same, however, the German chancellor also said there should more opportunities for young Algerians to migrate to Germany legally, such as through a student visa program. "Both sides belong together," Merkel said.

They also discussed the situation in neighbouring Mali and Libya

Earlier, Merkel visited a girls’ high school which the German Foreign Office opened in 2008.

The school is part of its “Partners for the Future” programme.

In her first visit to Algeria in a decade, the Chancellor took part in German language classes at the School in the Hussein Dey District.

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