Mediterranean ministers vow concerted effort on terror

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Interior ministers from five European and five north African countries agreed in Algiers on Tuesday to a common approach in fighting terrorism, organized crime and illegal migration.

They decided to “work in favor of a common approach in the anti-terrorist war based fundamentally on (the principles of) a state of law, social justice, the fight against poverty, the prevention and regulation of conflict,” said a final declaration from the meeting.

The so-called 5+5 group comprises Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Malta, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Algeria and Mauritania. France was represented by its ambassador to Algeria.

The ministers agreed to “intensify cooperation in the matter of securing borders... and increasing the exchange between security services and police of information regarding terrorist activities,” the declaration added.

Algerian Interior Minister Dahou Ould Kablia said a tightening of border controls “should prevent the passage of criminal groups and the circulation of arms and munitions that have, in recent times, taken on worrisome proportions.”

“Our perception of the war against terrorism really must incorporate the fight against extremism and fanaticism that lead to violence, by involving all the actors in society at all levels.”

The ministers also agreed to “prohibit wherever possible... the payment of ransom to terrorists groups... in order to dry up the sources of financing terrorism,” the declaration said.

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