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ALGIERS, Feb 17 (NNN-APS) -- Algerian Industry and Mining Minister Abdessalem Bouchouareb says the State-owned oil and gas company Sonatrach Group and the Saudi Arabia's SABIC have eached agreement to forge a partnership in the petrochemical sector.

A delegation from SABIC (Saudi Arabia Basic Industries Corporation) should arrive to Algiers next week for the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) and start the elaboration of an action plan over the next six months, the Minister said here Thursday.

Sonatrach had received a favourable response to its request for the start of the study of the project planned between the two parties, he added.

He described the agreement reached as a strong sign for the development of economic relations between the two countries, which the two sides have called to be raised to the level of their political relations.

The MoU will focuses on three projects in the petrochemical sector to open up promising prospects in terms of production, exchange of expertise, knowledge, and long-term technologies, he added.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal said Thursday that a Sonatrach subsidiary based in London to market gas to European countries was motivated by the important profit margin, the supply deficit and imports capacity.

In his reply to a question raised at the Council of the Nation (upper house of Parliament), read on his behalf by Minister for Relations with Parliament Ghania Eddalia, he said the Sonatrach subsidiary was set up in line with the national strategy for marketing of oil and gas abroad.

The London-based entity is mainly intended for marketing and shipping of hydrocarbons, Sellal said in reply to a question on the purpose for the creation of Sonatrach's subsidiary in UK's capital. "It purchases oil products for Sonatrach to market them worldwide."

The subsidiary has a fleet of two giant tanks, with a capacity of 84,000 cubic metres each, and three other smaller tankers, the Adrar, Ghoud Enouss and Hassi Messaoud, with an average capacity reaching 59,000 m3 each.

It also has a crude oil tanker with a capacity of two million barrels, according to the prime minister.

Source; Nam News Network


BRUSSELS, -- Algerian Minister of State and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation Ramtane Lamamra has called on the international community to resort to mediation teams as a diplomatic instrument in managing and settling conflicts for better efficiency.

"We have reached a conviction that the traditional mediator with extraordinary persuasive skills has stepped aside in favour of mediation teams," the minister said at a high-level conference on mediation here Tuesday.

"A mediation team is indeed better than a single individual," Algeria's foreign policy chief said, pointing out that "it is a common practice in Africa".

Africa had a rich experience in mediation culture, Lamamra said, citing the "Palaver Tree", an ancient African practice used in discussing and settling conflicts within the community.

Stressing the importance of mediation as the best way to resolve conflicts, Lamamra insisted on the need to settle crises and conflicts by involving all parties in the mediation process and making them part of the solution.

Meanwhile, a diplomcatic source said Lamamra would continue his visit to Brussels with disucssions Wednesday with his Belgian counterpart, Didier Reynders, as well as top European officials.

He will also pay a visit to the headquarters of European institutions where he will hold discussions with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, and the European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn.

Source: Nam News Network

EU Commission holds ‘Info Soiree’ for inspiring youth to network and exchange ideas

NNA - The EU Commission in Lebanon held on Monday an "Info Soiree" at the Beirut Art Center to give the floor to inspiring Lebanese youth who have benefitted from EU-funded initiatives.

In a press release by the EU Commission, it said: "The event aimed at raising awareness of these initiatives and their direct impact on the beneficiaries, and at providing the youth and civil society with a platform to network and exchange ideas."

In her opening speech, Ambassador Christina Lassen, Head of the Delegation of the European Union, addressed the youth by saying: "Young people are typically agents for change - because you are less set in your manners and ideas and often have new and fresh ideas about the world. We want to help you channel this energy into helping your communities and be positive agents for change."

Ambassador Lassen highlighted the strong support of the EU to activities that benefit Lebanese youth, ranging from "basic education to both Syrian and Lebanese to vocational training and higher education for Lebanese youth through our Tempus and Erasmus+ programmes. She said: "We also fund civil society organisations that work to improve the employability of youth, others that aim at decreasing the drop-out rate of students, activities that enable youth from less privileged communities to take part in cultural activities, civil society organisations that help youth get out of drug addiction, just to name a few."

The event, which was organised in the framework of the regional programme "EU Neighbours South"", was attended by around 100 youth and representatives of civil society organisations. A panel discussion provided the audience with information on a series of EU-funded initiatives, ranging from education and technical and vocational education and training, peace-building, entrepreneurship, and support to youth policy development and implementation. The "Info Soiree" concluded with an exhibition of selected EU-funded initiatives targeting youth.

The event coincided with the launch of the #EU4YOUTH social media campaign (on Facebook, Twitter) aiming to raise awareness of EU-funded youth initiatives in the Southern Neighbourhood countries. The campaign targets one million youth, in the 18-35 age group in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia.

Source: National News Agency


ALGIERS, The security co-operation between Algeria and Mali is strengthening by the day becaause the terrorist threat being faced by all countries is increasing, says Algerian Minister of Maghreb, African Union and the Arab League Affairs Abdelkader Messahel.

"At each opportunity given to us, we exchange information and see what the next steps are in terms of co-ordination, which is done within the bilateral and multilateral framework," he told the media after a meeting here Monday with the visiting Minister of Security and Civil Protection of Mali, Salif Traore.

Messahel explained that such co-ordination was necessary "to face the terrorist threat which is now doubled, particularly with the increase of organized crime and illegal immigration".

Regarding the implementation of the Peace and Reconciliation Agreement in Mali, resulting from the Algiers Process, Messahel recalled the progress made at a high-level meeting of the agreement's follow-up committee, held last Friday in Bamako, Mali, under the chairmanship of Algeria.

Meanwhile, Traore says co-operation between Algerian and Malian police is to be boosted. "I have been re-assured that co-operation between the Algerian and Malian police will go further," he added after a visit to National Security Command and Monitoring Centre here Monday,

"We seek to develop the internal capacity of the Malian police with the support of Algeria," said Traore, who was accompanied to the command centre by Algeria's police chief, Major-General Abdelghani Hamel.



ALGIERS, Algeria's Minister of Maghreb, African Union and Arab League Affairs, Abdelkader Messahel, has held discussions with the visiting Republic of Congo Minister of Foreign Affairs, Co-operation and Congolese Nationals Abroad, Jean-Claude Gakosso, who is on a working visit to Algeria.

In a media statement issued after their meeting here Sunday, Messahel said that the talks focused mainly on the situation in Libya, particularly the outcomes of the African Union (AU) High Level Committee meeting, held in January in Brazzaville.

Gakosso underlined Algeria's "key role" and its efforts for the political resolution of the crisis in Libya. He said: "Messahel explained to me the current situation in Libya. I need this information to bring to the Congolese President, Denis Sasso-Nguesso, who chairs the AU High Level Committee on Libya."

Gakosso also emphasized Algeria's strategic position on the Libyan crisis, adding that Algeria's expertise was very useful for the High Level Committee.

The AU High Level Committee is in charge of following up the situation in Libya and seeking means to reach a consensual solution to the conflict.

The Committee is made up of five countries -- Mauritania, Niger, Congo, Ethiopia and South Africa -- and has been expanded, at Algeria's request, to Libya's neighbouring countries.

Gakosso was also received by Algerian Minister Abdelmalek Sellal. A statement from the Prime Minister's office said Gakosso is the bearer of a message to Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika from his country's leader.

During their meeting, the Prime Minister and his guest "reviewed together issues relating to the development of the bilateral relations and co-operation", the statement said.

The two sides showed a convergence of views concerning the need to work for implementation of ways likely to further develop the economic relations between the two countries which will be crowned by the next official visit to Akgeria by Republic of Congo President Denis Sassou-Nguesso.

At the regional and international levels, the two sides broached topical issues, mainly those relating to the situation in the sub-region and to privilege the settlement of the conflicts which are still affecting peace and stability within the framework of dialogues.

Also present at the meeting was Algerian Minister of State and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation Ramtane Lamamra.


Martian Volcano Erupted for 2 Billion Years

A Martian volcano may have erupted continuously for more than 2 billion years, a new study suggests.

Writing in the journal Science Advances, researchers from Purdue University say they base their theory on a small meteorite found in Algeria in 2012.

According to the researchers, the meteorite is 2.4 billion years old and likely was jolted off the Martian surface when an object hit the planet, likely near a volcano or lava plain. Fragments of the planet's surface created by the impact finally made their way to Earth.

Fragments from Mars have an easier time escaping the planet because of its low gravity and thinner atmosphere.

Today, Mars is still known for volcanos, including the largest in the solar system, Olympus Mons, which is the size of the U.S. state of Arizona and is over 27 kilometers high. Researchers can't say if the meteorite came from Olympus Mons.

Volcanos on Mars can grow so big because of a lack of plate tectonics on the Red Planet. The planet's crust is not constantly recycled as it is here.

Researchers say there have been 100 meteorites found on Earth that likely came from Mars. Most of them have been found in Antarctica and North Africa.

By analyzing the meteorites, researchers can figure out its age, magma source, the time the object was in space and how long it has been on Earth.

This specific meteorite, called NWA 7635, is one of 11 that Purdue University Physics and Astronomy Professor Marc Caffee has determined was exposed to cosmic rays for 1.1 million years.

"What we interpret from that is that all 11 were knocked off Mars at the same time," said the research team member. "But this one was different than the others."

The other 10 in the sample were all about 500 million years old "meaning they were formed from cooling magma half-a-billion years ago on the surface of Mars." This meteorite, named NWA 2635, found in northwest Africa, is 2.4 billion years old.

"What this means is that for 2 billion years there's been sort of a steady plume of magma in one location on the surface of Mars," Caffee said. "We don't have anything like that on Earth, where something is that stable for 2 billion years at a specific location."

Source: Voice of America


OUARGLA, ALGERIA, The State supports investment projects for the development of agriculture in Algeria, says Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Fishing Abdesslam Chelghoum.

"The State provides different forms of support to investors in order to allow them to achieve their projects and contribute to the development of agriculture in Algeria," he said when inspecting a farm in Ouargla province, about 800 kilometres south east of Algiers.

Chelghoum praised investors for their efforts for the development of agriculture in the Saharan region, adding that "besides hydrocarbon production, the region will contribute to the diversification of the country's economy, through projects launched by young farmers for the development of thousands of hectares".

The minister also hailed the positive results achieved in the cereal and fodder crops in the region, in line with the State's instructions to reduce imports of such itemsl.

In this regard, Chelghoum urged investors to work for the diversification of agricultural production, especially soft wheat, which is currently imported in huge quantities by the country.