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Monday, 24 September, 2001, 23:55 GMT 00:55 UK
Algeria tells UK to expel militants
The body of Bouchareb Lyes, a highly sought-after terrorist
Algerian authorities are still fighting Islamist militants
By north Africa correspondent David Bamford

The Algerian Government has reportedly told a visiting UK Foreign Office minister that Britain should expel Algerian Islamist militants regarded by the Algerian government as having been implicated in acts of terrorism.

Algerian television said that Foreign Minister Abdul Aziz Belkhadem confirmed Algeria's wish to join the international coalition against terrorism.

But officials complained to the British minister, Ben Bradshaw, that the international community had not answered requests to help Algeria rid itself of its own terrorism problem.

Mr Bradshaw said he was visiting Algiers to discuss co-operation in boosting the international coalition against terrorism.

His one-day visit had been preceded by a firm commitment by the Algerians to support a coalition that was not aimed against any country, religion, people or culture.

During their talks Mr Belkhadem added further conditions for supporting action against terrorism: - that any military campaign must be under the umbrella of the United Nations and within the framework of international law. 'Britain's duty'

Foreign Office Minister Ben Bradshaw
Mr Bradshaw did not comment publicly on the issue
Mr Bradshaw also met the Algerian co-operation minister, Abdel Aziz Ziari, who told him that it was Britain's duty to hand over any terrorist on its soil and to ensure that no such criminal benefited from UK residents' permits.

The Algerians have said previously that some Algerian Islamists residing in Britain are implicated in bomb attacks and other civilian killings both in Algeria and France.

Mr Bradshaw has left Algiers without making any public statement on the issue.

He has gone to Morocco which has also expressed its desire to support President George W Bush's coalition against terrorism.

Other issues for discussion include new UN proposals on resolving the Western Sahara issue.

The Algerians are suspicious that the UK and the United States will try to push through the proposals under which Morocco would retain sovereignty in the disputed territory.

This has been rejected by Algeria and the Polisario independence movement.

See also:

20 Sep 01 | Middle East
Algeria 'gives US terror list'
18 Sep 01 | Middle East
Algeria tackles Islamic militants
21 Sep 01 | Africa
African media points way for Bush
24 Jul 01 | Middle East
Family massacred in Algeria
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