Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat – In a telephone conversation with Asharq Al-Awsat, Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci conferred his best wishes to the people of Egypt on the occasion of Eid al Adha.
Medelci told Asharq Al-Awsat, “Using your newspaper as an intermediary for our love and respect [to Egypt], we wish Egypt all the best and would like to start afresh.”
Medelci stressed that his country is committed to calming the situation and ending the media campaigns. He said that the Algerian government “is not engaging whatsoever in what is being said here or there by various parties because Algeria fully respects and appreciates Egypt, its people, and its government.”
Asked about the mediation role undertaken by Libya and the Arab League, Medelci said, “We respect their initiatives, but the relationship between Egypt and Algeria is strong and we do not need [anybody] to mediate with our brothers in Egypt, and we appreciate everybody who [tried] to bring the two nations together.”
The atmosphere between the two countries remain tense, and when Asharq Al-Awsat asked the Algerian Foreign Minister about this he replied, “we are responsible for [calming] the atmosphere in Algeria, and we thank the Egyptian Foreign Ministry for calming the atmosphere and we welcome what was said by Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit.”
Regarding the compensation that Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit mentioned, and whether Algeria is prepared to pay compensation for the damage inflicted on Egyptian businesses in Algeria, Medelci said “these issues are being discussed at other levels [of government], and there are companies that have insurance, and so this [issue] could be addressed through insurance arrangements and within the framework of the Egyptian or Algerian law applicable in this regard.”
Asked whether or not he intends to visit Egypt, the Algerian Foreign Minister replied “when a meeting is held that allows for the opportunity to visit Cairo, I will make this visit.”
As for the possibility of Algeria making an [official] apology to Egypt, the Algerian official said “We, over here [in Algeria] asked for that [from the Egyptians], and in any case we are talking about calming the situation and starting afresh within the framework of the fraternal relations between the two countries.”