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Algeria, EU seal MOU over election monitors

(Xinhua)

09:08, March 21, 2012

ALGIERS, March 20 (Xinhua) -- Algeria and the European Union ( EU) sealed Tuesday a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on sending EU monitors for the Algerian parliamentary elections on May 10.

The memorandum was signed in Algiers by Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci and the European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fule.

"This memorandum of understanding is the fruit of a series of efforts that brought Algeria among democratic countries," Medelci told reporters at the end of the signing ceremony, pointing out that the North African nation's reform process "is underway and open."

About 600 foreign monitors are expected to supervise the Algerian parliamentary elections, representing the EU, the Arab League, the African Union, the Islamic Cooperation Organization and a couple of NGOs, Medelci said.

Fule described the upcoming elections as "a very important rendezvous," saying that "they come amid historical changes occurring in the region."

"Algeria is a key country for the European Union," the EU official said, calling for "reinforcing bilateral cooperation between the two parties."

"In the short term, I hope that we'd be able to reach an agreement on the two pending issues, namely the talks on tariff dismantling and the memorandum of understanding on energy," he said.


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