Algerian President Tebboune’s periodic interview with national press (July 2022): Here are full details, tackled dossiers

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ALGIERS- The President of the Republic, Mr. Abdelmadjid Tebboune, expressed his determination to further strengthen the State in order to preserve security and inculcate the values ​​of democracy, affirming that the fight he is waging aims to preserve the dignity of Algerians.

During his periodic interview with the national press, broadcast on Sunday evening, President Tebboune declared that “democracy and citizen security only exist in a powerful State”, adding that “a weak State is incapable of protecting its citizens”.

The fight he has been leading since his election as President of the Republic, through the various reforms undertaken, is that of “restoring or even preserving the dignity of Algerians”, he explained.

In this regard, he pledged to increase wages and unemployment benefit as of next year, on the basis of an in-depth study so that there is no inflation, announcing “the possibility of increasing wages in a single decision or gradually throughout the year”.

The President of the Republic indicated that Algeria’s capacities would make it possible to recover, in the medium term, the value of the dinar, noting the importance of taking “precise measures to avoid inflation”.

“As long as there are additional revenues this year, I commit to increasing wages and unemployment benefit, announced President Tebboune, in an extract of his periodic meeting with the representatives of the national media that will be broadcast on Sunday evening, adding that “the struggle we are leading is aimed at restoring dignity.”

In his response to a question on the possibility of conducting a ministerial reshuffle, the President of the Republic affirmed that “there will be a ministerial reshuffle,” underlining that “it occurs in all the governments of the world.” A reshuffle, he said, that comes within the framework of “the implementation of our commitments.”

President Tebboune emphasized “the good will and strong sense of patriotism among Sonatrach Group’s workers,” hailing them “from the simplest worker to the most senior executives” for their efforts.

As regards the teaching of English language in the primary schools, President Tebboune said that this decision “will be implemented this year” to enable Algeria to “impose itself at the international level,” adding that “French is the spoils of the war but English is an international language.”

President Tebboune referred to the military parade organized by the People’s National Army on the occasion of the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the recovery of the national sovereignty, pointing out that “Algeria has the right to organize a military parade on the occasion of the anniversary of its independence and to highlight the cohesion between the Algerian people and the People’s National Army, as it is an Army-Nation.”

Describing the ANP as a “peaceful army that has never deviated from international standards”, he stressed that “our army is strong and the Algerian people, so strong, enjoy national pride and remain committed to national unity.”

Addressing the power factors of the State that he is working to consolidate, President Tebboune highlighted “the resounding success” of the last Mediterranean games in Oran and the military parade organized by the People’s National Army (ANP).

In a related context, President Tebboune affirmed that the State will punish the perpetrators of bureaucracy within the administration. President Tebboune stressed that the bureaucracy “is none other than a set of suspicious authoritarian practices, accumulated over the past 30 to 40 years by individuals so well introduced into the administration that one would believe them to be representatives of power”.

“Decisions are examined by the Government and approved by the Council of Ministers, but their implementation on the ground is hampered”, regretted the President of the Republic, stressing that these practices “create a climate of tension and instability and some dare to assimilate them to the New Algeria”.

“Whoever claims to deserve dignity and respect should begin by respecting the people and the laws of the Republic,” said President Tebboune, adding that the elimination of bureaucracy “passes through the elimination of these practices within the Administration and the State will play its role of control”.

As for the prisoners of conscience in Algeria, President Tebboune affirmed that there were no prisoners of conscience in Algeria, adding that freedom of expression is guaranteed in the country, provided it is exercised in a civilized environment.

President Tebboune affirmed that Algeria has no prisoners of conscience, underlining that the freedom of expression is guaranteed to all citizens in accordance with the principles stipulated in the Constitution without allowing discord, chaos and breach of public security.

“There are no detainees of conscience in Algeria and the alleged existence of the prisoners of conscience is the lie of the century,” said President Tebboune during his periodic interview with the national press, broadcast on Sunday on the national radio and television.

President Tebboune stressed that anyone who practices insult and defamation “should be prosecuted and judged in accordance with the provisions of common law, regardless of their status”, adding that “immunity only concerns elected parliamentarians” and that it “may even be lifted in certain cases”.

He explained that “whatever the status of the person, nothing gives him the right to undermine and denigrate the institutions of the State or the symbols of the History of the country like the Emir Abdelkader.

While affirming that freedom of expression is guaranteed in Algeria, provided it is exercised in a civilized framework, President Tebboune added that opponents can express their points of view but, he pointed out, that they are mouthpieces of parties activating abroad, this cannot be accepted.

With respect to the reunification initiative, the President affirmed that this latter will be an extension of the laws of Rahma (mercy), civil concord and national reconciliation and will affect those who were misled and realized that their future is ensured in their country and not by some foreign sides.

President Tebboune gave further details on the parties that will be affected by the initiative of reunification, underlining that it “will concern the Algerians who were misled and who then realized that their future is ensured in their country and not by foreign embassies.”

Affirming that this initiative concerns also those who “preferred to withdraw for being mistreated,” President of the Republic said that the attempts of some sides hostile to Algeria “will be doomed to failure in the face of these courageous and strong people.”

President Tebboune pointed out that the “supporters of the transition period and the fifth term of office failed, as well as those who attempted to pave the way to foreign intervention in Algeria. I tell them: don’t waste your time, because we will not accept this and we will never allow it.”

Underscoring Algeria’s achievements in the fields of economy and investments which are “effective and real results,” President Tebboune said that “the demographic and economic data push us to accelerate the pace to cope with this growth.”

“The initiative of reunification will be the extension of the laws of Rahma, civil Concord and the national Reconciliation decreed previously to address the issue of the national tragedy,” said president Tebboune, adding that these three initiatives were “limited in time and the deadline for benefiting from it were tight.”

This initiative will be developed into a bill to be submitted then to the Parliament, as it is “the people’s real representative,” he added.

Algeria aims to carve out a place of choice in its African space:

On the economic sphere, President Tebboune affirmed that Algeria meets, to a large extent, the conditions that enable it to join the BRICS which constitutes an “economic and political power “.

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has suggested that his country, Africa’s largest natural gas exporter, could join the BRICS economic group that includes Russia and China.

The BRICS group also includes the major emerging economies of Brazil, India and South Africa.

“The BRICS interest us” as an alternative to traditional power centres, President Tebboune said in a televised interview late Sunday. “They constitute an economic and political force.”

He underlined that there was no need to “get ahead of things” but promised “good news”.

The president added that his North African country meets “a good part” of the economic criteria for joining the bloc.

BRICS members currently account for nearly a quarter of the world’s gross domestic product.

In a related vein, he highlighted Algeria’s permanent concern to attract foreign investment from brotherly and friendly countries, such as; Qatar, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and certain countries considered as strategic allies, like Italy and others.

The Head of State affirmed, in the same context, that Algeria aims to carve out a place of choice in its African space, in particular through the revision of certain shortcomings and the launch of several important projects of African integration , considering that the country “is African by its destiny and its extension”.

On the energy and oil exploration side, President Tebboune praised the patriotic spirit and the will of the Sonatrach workers, which enabled Algeria to restore its energy capacities, announcing, at the same time, other major discoveries.

As for the agricultural sector, President Tebboune said that it “is currently undergoing restructuring and improvement”, considering that Algeria was able to achieve self-sufficiency in certain matters, such as; durum wheat and barley, products described as a “lethal weapon”.

Regarding the housing sector, the President of the Republic affirmed that the formulas currently proposed will be maintained without ruling out the possibility for the Housing Department to propose a new formula to the government.

These steps fall, he continued, within the framework of efforts aimed at the definitive eradication of the housing crisis in Algeria “in preservation of the dignity of Algerians”.

“We cannot tolerate that the children of Algeria of the Chouhada live in precarious dwellings”, he hammered.

And to add: “We regret to see people, in collusion with certain officials, occupying slums that we have demolished,” lamented Mr. Tebboune, explaining: “We regret that slums were eradicated from some lands, and their inhabitants were relocated in new apartments that provide all the necessary amenities, but other people came to occupy those lands with the complicity of some officials…. we will eradicate this phenomenon.”

He underlined that: “A law will soon be promulgated and will provide for the severe punishment of those who illegally seize state lands.”

In this context, the President of the Republic affirmed that “there is no democracy and security for the citizens except in a strong state, because a weak state cannot protect its citizens and will bow to the strength of others.”

The President of the Republic added that Algeria will continue its efforts to eliminate slums “in order to preserve the dignity of the Algerians,” recalling the delivery of more than 3.5 million units since 2013.

“The state will also continue its housing programs in various formulas, including social housing,” stressed President Tebboune, who pointed out that the efforts recorded in this field culminated in significantly reducing the age of access to housing.

He stressed: “We will continue this work until every housing applicant can benefit from his housing unit within 6 months to a year.

Algeria works to unify Arab ranks

As long as the Arab League Summit, slated for Algiers on November 1st-2nd, is concerned, President Tebboune affirmed that Algeria “has a credibility in the Arab world,” underlining that “the Arab family will meet in Algiers” and that Algeria “is best placed to assemble the Arab world.”

He added that the Arab Summit would be crowned with success, maintaining that Algeria was working to unify the Arab ranks, and that “Syria’s participation in this crucial meeting is subject to consultation between the Arab countries”.

As for the Palestinian cause, the President of the Republic revealed that Algeria was working to host a meeting of the Palestinian factions before the Arab summit, stressing that the country “enjoys all the credibility” to be able to reconcile the Palestinian factions.

As for Algerian-Tunisian relations, he affirmed that Tunisian President-elect Kaïs Saïed represented legitimacy in Tunisia, arguing that Algeria was dealing with legitimacy and would continue to support neighboring Tunisia “without any interference in its internal affairs”.

Referring to the situation in Libya, President Tebboune reiterated Algeria’s support for the legitimate party in Libya and the decisions of the Security Council in this regard. “We are for the legitimacy and in favor of the resolutions of the Security Council. We support the initiative to unify the ranks of the Libyan brothers as well as the inter-Libyan solution far from any interference”, explained the President of the Republic.

In this context, the President of the Republic highlighted that Algeria has been calling for elections for two years in Libya, “and on this basis, the government of Abdelhamid Dbeibah and the Presidential Council, headed by Mohamed El Manfi, were appointed.”

The President of the Republic pointed out that Algeria does not interfere in the affairs of the Libyans, noting that Sonatrach has frozen its activities in Libya “in order to leave a space to try to solve some problems among the Libyan brothers. Currently, the Libyan brothers are asking and urging Sonatrach to return to Libya.

Regionally and addressing the crisis in Mali, President Tebboune affirmed that the resolution of the problems facing this country would require the implementation of the peace and reconciliation agreement resulting from the Algiers process. He considered that : “As long as there is no implementation of the Peace and Reconciliation Accord stemming from the process of Algiers, Mali will still face problems and the existing rotten environment allows anyone to interfere in its internal affairs.”

After laying emphasis on Mali’s unity, Pt. Tebboune expressed Algeria’s availability to provide material assistance and organize meetings in Algeria between Malian belligerents.

“Algeria’s is ready to provide material assistance and organize meetings in Algeria or Mali between Malian belligerents,” he stressed.

He went on to say: “Whenever we try to reunite brothers in a country, there are those who interfere, there are parties that envy Algeria for its role,” stressing that Algeria “deals with all African countries with a good and pure intention aimed at solving problems.”

President Tebboune did not hide the fact that terrorism exists in Mali, but he considered that “part of it is fabricated for strategic reasons by other countries that feed it.”

The President of the Republic urged Malians, especially the leaders, to “return to legitimacy, restore their say to people, hold elections and return to the constitution,” warning them that “this deadlock would “be an opportunity to other ill intended countries”.

Separately, he went on to say that the files of the Algerian nationals assaulted in Gao (Mali) and the kidnapped diplomats, two of whom passed away, are not yet classified, stressing that the perpetrators should be held accountable for their actions.

He stressed that “those behind these acts will be held accountable. We have an idea of ​​who was the reason for attacking the Algerians in Gao, and when some evidence emerges, we will start settling scores,” noting that “investigations are ongoing, and I think our suspicions are valid.”

Internationally, he referred to the relations between Algeria and Italy and welcomed the evolution they are experiencing recently, expressing the two countries’ willingness to embark on the joint production in the mechanical engineering industry and the manufacturing of cars and ships.”

On the sports side, President Tebboune emphasized the need to support talented athletes in anticipation of the next sporting events.

He estimated that “Algeria is now ready to host regional and even international competitions”, given the infrastructure and accommodation centers it has, as well as the investments that will be reinforced by new structures in all regions in the country.

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