by Daniel J. Graeber
Washington (UPI) Sep 19, 2014
The Algerian foreign minister said from Washington bilateral ties with the United States are not limited exclusively to the energy sector.
Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra met Thursday in Washington with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who made his first official visit to Algeria in April.
Algeria has the tenth-largest natural gas deposits in the world and is among the top gas suppliers to Europe. Its exports have been in decline, however, because of lagging foreign investments.
The country's energy minister told U.S. officials Algeria was evaluating the potential for shale oil and gas, something the government said was "absolutely vital" for energy security.
Lamamra told Kerry the bilateral ties with the United States were now without boundaries.
"It is not anymore limited to energy; it covers so many areas, and it is really a good terrain and good ground for American companies to come and to contribute in the development of Algeria," he said.
Kerry, for his part, said the strategic partnership with Algeria included efforts on the counter-terrorism front.
Terrorist in Algeria in 2013 attacked the country's In Amenas natural gas facility, and the country is facing regional pressure from the Islamic State and from turmoil in neighboring Libya.
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