M. L’Ambassadeur accorde une interview au magazine Profit

Belgrade, avril 2011: M. Abdelkader Mesdoua a accordé une interview au magazine Profit dont voici, ci-après, le texte en anglais et sa traduction en français:

His Excellency Mr. Abdelkader Mesdoua, Ambassador of Algeria to Serbia

Algeria became, following the separation of South Soudan from the north, the largest country in Africa. With its 2.381.7141 km2; in area, home to a population of 36 million, the title seems thoroughly deserved. Algerians became an example worldwide when they waged a fierce war of liberation between 1954 and 1962 after nearly 130 years of the French colonialism. There was a resistance to the countless injustices of French rule and the full expression of their profound wish to rid themselves of the yoke of colonialism.
The 5th of July 1962 marked the restoration of national sovereignty. With it, Algeria opted for the socialist model so as to end exploitation. It aimed at following the example set out by the countries such the former Federative Republic of Yugoslavia and in this respect, Algeria achieved significant results in all fields.
As a result of widespread social demonstrations in October 1988, Algeria introduced important political, economic and social reforms, which observers aptly labeled ‘the first revolution in the Arab world’. In that period, freedom of expression was enshrined as 50 political parties were recognized alongside over 100 newspapers.
The Dark Decade, as Algerians now refer to it, throughout the 1990’s, rife with terrorism, unfortunately cut the dynamics for reform short.
Though Algeria suffered a great deal from the scourge of terrorism through the loss of life and the destruction of infrastructure, the nation managed to emerge from this chaos nonetheless. In addition to reestablishing peace in the country through the policy of national reconciliation, H.E Mr. Abdelaziz Bouteflika, President of the Republic, also headed a new political and strategic vision for Algeria. Five-year development plans were launched in order to improve living conditions for the citizens of Algeria and to enable further development of the country in general. Indeed, since 2000, over USD 600 bn were invested in various sections of Algeria economy. Another five-year investment plan reaching up to USD 286 bn for 2010-2014, aimed at the construction of one million homes, the modernization of basic infrastructure and the creation of employment above all, was also launched recently.

For the PROFIT magazine, we talk to H.E. Mr. Abdelkader Mesdoua, Ambassdor of Algeria to Serbia, about the largest country in Africa and relationships with Serbia.

Your Excellency, how do you feel in Belgrade?

I am very glad to be in your beautiful country. Serbia has always been respected by the Algerian people and Government, due to the close ties that have always existed between our two nations. I feel as I am home and I am pleased to contribute, through my position and in cooperation with the Serbian authorities, to the development and strengthening of the relationships between our two countries.

Since when have you represented your country as Ambassador to Serbia and what was your diplomatic career path like, before your arrival to Serbia?

I have been in Serbia, as Algerian ambassador, for nearly three years now. My diplomatic career has provided me with the privilege of visiting different countries of which Serbia is the latest. Beforehand, I served in posts in Africa such as in Niger and Nigeria. I was also Algeria representative to the United Nations in New York.

Could you tell us something about history of bilateral relations between Algeria and Serbia?

Serbia and Algeria have maintained an extraordinary relationship of friendship and solidarity dating back to the time of former Yugoslavia. The government and people of Yugoslavia, led by Josip Broz Tito, provided significant material aid to the Algerian people in their resistance against French occupation. It will then come as no surprise to you that the first European state to recognize Algeria’s first provisional government in 1958, was Yugoslavia. Since then, the relationship has flourished continuously despite the transition processes initiated in both our nations throughout the 90’s, which to a certain extent, somewhat changed the intensity of cooperation momentarily.
Relationships between Serbia and Algeria have experienced new dynamics due to establishment of Mixed Committee for Algerian – Serbian cooperation, which held its 18thsession in November 2009, after nearly 20-year recess.

Visits from various officials of both countries have been numerous and fruitful. For example, Serbia was visited by Mr. Mourad Medelci, Minister of Foreign Affairs, in December 2010, as well as Mr. Hachemi Djiar, Minister for Sports and Youth, in November of the same year. Their Serbian counterparts, Mr. Vuk Jeremic and Mr. Mladjan Dinkic did the same in April 2009 and March 2010. The latter, then the Minister of Economy and Regional Development, headed a large delegation consisting of ministers and businessmen. The Speaker of the National Assembly paid also an official visit to Algeria. For the first time after 20 years, more than thirty Serbian companies participated in the latest International Fair in Algeria, held in June 2010. This evidently represents a significant achievement in bolstering economic ties between our two countries.

I am convinced that this cooperation will continue to develop in the forthcoming years, thanks to the strong will and efforts shown from both parties in order to promote and to raise it to a level which fits the political and commercial aspirations of our two peoples. In this respect, the holding of the 19th Joint commission between Algeria and Serbia is envisaged to be held during this year. Both parties have discussed existing options and the large opportunities available to industries of our two countries in order to establish partnerships in different fields such as those in railways, construction and pharmaceuticals. There is also a willingness to strengthen military cooperation particularly in the area of training.

Four treaties on cooperation between Algeria and Serbia within the field of agriculture, culture, foreign trade and media were signed at the end of last year. What type of cooperation will be achieved after these agreements having been signed?

These treaties will certainly enrich present treaties between Serbia and Algeria including those which are still in the process of discussion. They should also be a significant contribution to the broadening of opportunities in cooperation. In the area of culture for example, exchange programs for 2011, 2012 and 2013 will include areas such as museology, archeology, the catering industry and the preservation of cultural heritage. They will also include librarianship, various exhibitions and book fairs, opera, ballet and artistic ensembles. Besides allowing for the free exchange in know-how, they will allow our two peoples to get to know each other better through the rich cultural and humanitarian heritage they have inherited from the civilizations they belong to.

As for the agriculture and foreign trade improvements, these treaties will certainly contribute stimulating bilateral cooperation in mutual interests of two countries.

What has present cooperation and exchange in the field of culture looked like? As far as you know, how many Algerians are there in Serbia, if any?

Cultural cooperation between Serbia and Algeria has not developed enough, compared to the exchanges which had occurred between Algeria and the former Yugoslavia prior to the 1990’s. I am of the opinion that the signing of a program of cultural exchange for the period 2011-2012 will bring much more dynamics, highlighting our human and cultural potentials.

As for the presence of Algerians in the Republic of Serbia, some sixty compatriots are here. Though this community might not seem numerous, it is nonetheless a very well adjusted one. It consists primarily of former students who were educated here at the time of former Yugoslavia. Their presence is a kind of bridge of cultural and human values, further strengthening relations between our two countries.

The celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of establishment of our diplomatic relationship is scheduled for 2012. This celebration will also be an opportunity to assess the conditions of our bilateral cooperation. First of all, in the field of cultural cooperation, we aim to strengthen and raise the latter to the level of the period of former Yugoslavia. It is planned that we hold meetings, lectures, art and culture weeks and to show film in both countries.

How does the situation in the North of Africa reflect on economic, tourist and other aspects of life in Algeria? How do you see developments in the North of Africa?

The effects of the current situation in North of Africa on the countries in the region, and Algeria among them, economically, socially or otherwise, due to geographical proximity and nature of relationships Algeria has with those countries are undeniable. However, comparison of this situation with the developments in some other countries, evidencing social dynamics of changes and legitimate aspirations of peoples to promote democratic values within their own society, would be wrong if thought that they represent similar situations. Each case is a case for itself. I think that North Africa will manage to overcome present turbulences and regain stability and prosperity, due to the spirit of their peoples.

How would you describe your country as an interesting tourist destination?

Algeria is a country with a vast tourist potential, with a truly rich and diverse cultural heritage which testifies to its remarkable history. Moreover, all the way through our territory, one can find a diverse climate. This is also the case for the country’s landscape, seacoast, deserts and mountains. Such geographic and climate diversity offers large opportunities for tourists throughout the entire year.

What do you particularly like in Serbia, and what would you change if you could?

I like the original cultural mosaic in Serbia, resulting from the mixing of its peoples and culture over centuries. Serbia is, as you know, on the crossroads of the east and west. I also like the historical heritage of this country, which belonged to former Yugoslavia. Serbia should be very proud of belonging to a nation which proudly helped in the battles of mine and other nations for self-determination, and of which Josip Broz Tito will always be one of the most famous leaders.

I like its sceneries, especially green ones, kindness of people as well as readiness and will of Serbian people to overcome painful war episodes and to work on reconciliation. Spring always reminds me of my country and Mediterranean mildness which can be felt here. If I could change anything, I would certain give Serbia more natural resources in order to obtain better development opportunities.

What will you for sure take with you when you leave Serbia?

I will always keep it in my memories as a country people of which is striving towards better future, and Government works tirelessly on better life for their citizens. It is a difficult mission conclusively requesting a lot of efforts and sacrifices. I will always remember Serbia as a country which managed, thanks to the spirit of their people, to overcome transition difficulties after breakdown of former Yugoslavia and which has a leading role in reconciliation with the peoples and countries in the region. Love of this people for their country and its development, natural beauties of this country, history as well as its rich cultural heritage.

You have to know that I will always have a part of Serbia inside myself, which I will always keep with me and which I will always defend, wherever I might be.


Son Excellence M. Abdelkader Mesdoua, Ambassadeurr d’Algérie en Serbie

L’Algérie est depuis la séparation du Sud Soudan de son Nord le plus grand pays d’Afrique avec une superficie de 2.381.7141 Km2 et 36 millions d’habitants. Après avoir livré une lutte acharnée durant cent trente années contre le colonialisme français, le peuple algérien de 1954 à 1962, a conduit une guerre de libération nationale, dont le combat, un exemple de lutte contre l’injustice, a inspiré de nombreux peuples contre le joug colonialiste, le recouvrement de la liberté et la justice. Recouvrant sa souveraineté le 5 juillet 1962, l’Algérie a opté pour le mode de gestion socialiste, dont l’objectif était de mettre fin à l’exploitation qu’avait subie le peuple algérien. Ce mode de gestion a permis à l’Algérie, à l’instar des pays qui l’avaient adopté comme l’ex République Fédérale Yougoslave, d’enregistrer d’importantes réalisations dans tous les domaines. En octobre 1988 et suite au mouvement populaire réclamant des changements politiques et économiques et que les observateurs qualifient d’ailleurs de première révolution dans le monde arabe « 

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