By Michel Cousins
Tripoli, 11 January 2013:
The new Libya ambassador to Algeria, Mohamed Mokhtar Ahmed Mazen, presented his credentials yesterday, Thursday, to . . .[restrict]Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. The presentation came ahead of tomorrow’s strategic tripartite summit in Ghadames where Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, Algerian Premier Abdelmalek Sellal and Tunisian Premier Hamadi Jebali will discuss border security issues. A declaration on closer relations between the three states is also expected.
“We will announce in Ghadames a number of principles and objectives about the future of our region and about the future of our Arab Maghreb of which we are an integral part,” Zeidan said this evening, Friday, in Ghadames. He was meeting with the local council and leaders from the surrounding area. The summit, he said, is part of moves to build strong fraternal relations with the two neighours, with an emphasis on regional security and stability.
Mazen indicated the same yesterday. “We expect Libyan Algerian relations to reach the highest level of collaboration”, he said at a press conference after meeting Bouteflika.
Algeria approved his nomination last month. However, it has not yet been approved by the General National Congress. Although the appointment had been announced when Zeidan went to Algeria in early December, there was then a clash between the Prime Minister and Congress over who has the right to appoint ambassadors.
It was resolved in a compromise where the government proposes names and Congress then either approves or disapproves of them. Mazen’s name was one of 34 ambassadorial nominations Zeidan submitted to Congress on 31 December.
A member of Congress’ Foreign Affairs Committee has told the Libya Herald that all 34 will be interviewed personally by the committee before it makes its recommendations to Congress for it to vote on. That has not yet happened. [/restrict]