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Kerry says US wants to boost Algeria in fight against Al-Qaeda

Published on Apr 3, 2014 11:05 PM

ALGIERS (REUTERS) - US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday that Washington was looking to increase its security assistance to Algeria to help it tackle militancy in the vast Sahel region to its south, home to one of the world's most active branches of Al-Qaeda.

Algeria, a major gas supplier to Europe, is already a key partner in Washington's campaign against Islamist fighters who have tried to spread across the Maghreb after the French military drove them out of Mali last year.

Mr Kerry was originally scheduled to visit Algeria late last year but arrived just weeks before President Abdelaziz Bouteflika runs for re-election in a vote in which he is widely expected to win a fourth term.

"We really want to work in a cooperative way, and we want to do this so that Algerian security services have the tools and the training needed in order to defeat Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups," Mr Kerry told a news conference.

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