Algerian Foreign Minister Ahmed Attaf in Vienna on Close Economic Relations

PeopleDiplomats ♦ Published: July 4, 2024; 11:51 ♦ (Vindobona)

Austria's Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg welcomed his Algerian counterpart Ahmed Attaf to Vienna for a working visit. During the talks between the two foreign ministers, particular attention was paid to the joint fight against illegal migration and the expansion of economic cooperation, especially in the field of green hydrogen.

Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg (l.) received Algerian counterpart Ahmed Attaf (r.) in Vienna. / Picture: © BMEIA Bundesministerium für Europa, Integration und Äußeres / Michael Gruber / Flickr Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0 DEED)

The ministers held a working session, devoted to examining the means and prospects for strengthening cooperation and partnership relations between the two countries in their various aspects and components, in addition to regional and international developments of common interest, according to the press release. The foreign ministers also exchanged views on global trouble spots, from the Middle East conflict to the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine and the situation in the Sahel region and in Algeria's neighboring country Libya.

"Last year, we celebrated the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Austria and Algeria. Our two countries can look back on a long and successful history of cooperation. We are close partners in multilateral forums, especially in the field of disarmament. And we have strong economic relations," said Foreign Minister Schallenberg at the joint press conference.

One focus of the meeting was the global trouble spots, in particular the catastrophic humanitarian situation in Gaza, the global impact of the Russian war of aggression on Ukraine, and the instability in the Sahel region. The foreign ministers also discussed the situation in Algeria's neighboring country Libya and the resulting migration pressure on Austria.

"Algeria is an important partner in migration issues. Algeria's efforts in migration management have helped to reduce illegal migration via the central Mediterranean route by 60%. With Algeria as a transit country, but also as a destination country, we have a common interest in strengthening our cooperation," said Foreign Minister Schallenberg, welcoming Algeria's efforts in border protection and the successes achieved in the fight against illegal migration.

The visit of the Algerian Foreign Minister provided an opportunity to further intensify the close economic relations between Austria and Algeria. Algeria is Austria's fourth largest export destination on the African continent and an important source of European raw material imports. Looking to the future, cooperation in the areas of renewable energies, recycling, the circular economy, transportation, logistics, and agriculture is to be further expanded. One priority is the SouthH2 hydrogen corridor, which aims to enable the import of renewable hydrogen from North Africa via Italy to Austria and Germany by 2030.

Austrian MFA