Neighbourhood watch not mission creep


"Helping this neighbourhood to help itself."

With those words David Cameron heralded his arrival in Algeria - the first Western leader to visit this country since the hostage crisis which left 38 foreigners dead and the first British prime minister to visit in half a century of Algerian independence.

The prime minister has brought his national security advisor and the head of MI6 with him for talks designed to secure a new security partnership between the two countries. In practice that is likely to focus, at least to start with, more on the sharing of intelligence and less on defence co-operation.

The presence of the British trade envoy Lord Risby and the Algerian energy minister is a reminder that oil and not just security is high on the agenda here.

In the aftermath of the hostage crisis David Cameron described North Africa as a magnet for Al Qaeda terrorism and the focus of a new generational struggle against Islamic extremism.

After he had laid a wreath at the martyrs memorial in Algiers, I asked him if he could allay fears that this region could become his Iraq or Afghanistan. He insisted that it would not.

Nick Robinson, Political editor Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

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  • rate this

    Comment number 7.


    Unclear what you`re saying but it sounds upbeat.

    That the Tories are doing fine is not fact but intepretation.Libya,is now a no go area for Britons and its warlords,previously supressed by Quaddafi are arming a Tuareg Rebellion in Mali.

    The economy is tanking,the debt and deficit rising and his coalition buddies don`t trust him.There`s always NI with Rebekah and Friends.

  • rate this

    Comment number 18.

    I'm not bothered by the way Ed Milibandwagon speaks or his age. The fact he's a career politician who's never had a real job is a concern. The main issue is his inability to discuss anything in any depth beyond the first few soundbites, without his line of thinking (such as it is) unravelling badly. Also he's got no ideas, policies or direction and he's bought, paid for and owned by the unions.

  • rate this

    Comment number 24.

    I was amazed that Cameron is the first PM to visit Algeria since independence. We have to engage with these countries if we are to work with them. We clearly have security and economic interest in talking to an important North African country but we need to tread carefully.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    I hope we don't get too embroiled over there since there's plenty to focus on back here. Growth to promote, jobs to create ... private schools to ban ... so many things requiring urgent political attention.

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    Everything at home is tickidy boo

    So let’s pop over to Algeria and make sure that BP’s investments are all ok

    We are after all looking forward to a good donation to the Tory coffers before the next election

    As the treasury is so flush at the moment its not like we have anthing else to spend tax payer’s money on


Comments 5 of 40



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