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Clinton, Algerian FM discuss Arab mission in Syria

WASHINGTON, Jan 12 (KUNA) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met on Thursday with Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci to discuss the bilateral relations and the Arab League mission in Syria.
"Our two nations have worked closely on security and economic issues, particularly counterterrorism, for more than a decade", said Clinton in a joint press briefing with Medelci.
"We discussed the evolving situation in Syria and the need to end the Assad government's assault in its own people, she added. Clinton noted that Algeria "has participated in the Arab League's monitoring mission in Syria, but regrettably, the violence has not stopped. And we will continue to work with Algeria and all our partners in the Arab League to end the violence in Syria and to hold those responsible for the violence accountable".
She further mentioned that she discussed with Medelci "Algeria's upcoming parliamentary elections and ongoing political reforms".
"The United States is committed to working with Algeria to support an open, free, democratic nation with a thriving civil society and institutions that give the Algerian people the future they so deserve", affirmed Clinton.
"We thanked Algeria for the support it has given to Tunisia and Libya. We encouraged greater cooperation with Morocco and an active role in the U.N.-led negotiations to resolve the conflict in Western Sahara", added Clinton.
Clinton said that Algeria "has undertaken very significant reforms, and we welcome those. We want to see Algeria having a strong democratic foundation that reflects the aspirations of the Algerian people. We commend the government of Algeria's recent efforts in that direction".
In return, Medelci noted that Algeria "will spare no effort to help improve our relations and the situation in the Maghreb and the countries of the Sahel. And of course, in order to do so, we are counting on the support of our partners, notably the United States".
"We did indeed talk about the situation in Syria, and we did have a concurrence of views that both sides denounced the violence which is taking place in Syria", he added.
Medelci noted that the "Arab League's mission needs all of the support that it can get from its international partners. And notably, we pride on the fact that this mission benefits from the support from the United States".
"I would like to take this opportunity to urge all parties in Syria, be it the government or the opposition, to work together with the Arab League in order to help solve this extremely complex problem and issue", he concluded. (end) jm.gb KUNA 122243 Jan 12NNNN