Kashmir integral part of India: Algeria

Amidst escalating Indo-Pak tension over Pakistan’s continuing support to cross border terror, Algeria has unequivocally conveyed that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and terrorism in all forms have to be eradicated.

Algeria has conveyed this to Vice President Hamid Ansari during his two-day visit to the North African country.

During the bilateral talks, Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal told the Vice President that his country fully supports India’s position on Jammu and Kashmir, a senior official accompanying Mr. Ansari said.

However, Pakistan’s name was directly not taken by either side.

New Delhi has always been maintaining that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and blames Pakistan for sponsoring cross border terrorism in the border state.

In an on board briefing, the Vice President said that during his five-day two-nation tour, the issue of terrorism was discussed with the top leaderships of both Algeria and Hungary.

Asked whether the issue of a third country’s support to terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir was figured in the bilateral talks with the two countries, Ansari said, “Everyone knows which one is the third country. Obvious is obvious. No need to take any country’s name.”

The Vice President said that in his discussions with Hungary and Algerian leaderships, menace of terrorism was discussed and their view was that it is a disease for the entire world and it has to be eradicated in all forms and manifestations.

‘Algeria too faced terrorism’

Mr. Ansari said that Algeria had faced terrorism in the past and it was ended after years of efforts and at a great cost of hundreds of thousands of lives.

“There was not a single family who did not lose any of its member due to terror in Algeria,” he said.

The Vice President’s visit to the two countries came after a long gap — the last political visit to Hungary was of the then President Shankar Dayal Sharma’s in 1993 while a senior political functionary had visited Algeria in 1985.

“Political visits to the two countries were lacking and the trip was undertaken to reconnect the old ties. There were substantive discussions on various issues. It was a very satisfactory visit,” he told reporters accompanying him.

Ansari said that two agreements, including one on water management, were signed with Hungary while there was a key meeting on the possibility of setting up a joint venture fertilisers plant by Algeria and India in the north African country.

The meeting was held between Minister of State for Fertilisers and Chemicals Mansukh L Mandaviya, who was accompanying Ansari, and Algerian Minister of Industry and Mining Abdessalem Bouchouareb.

If the discussions lead to setting up of a joint venture mega fertiliser company in Algeria, the price of fertiliser in India is expected to come down along with the subsidy burden of the government with regard to fertiliser.

“The fertiliser plant is linked to our efforts for food security,” Ansari said.

The Vice President said there was substantive discussions on future cooperation in the sectors like phosphate, fertilisers, defence and security, peaceful use of nuclear energy and space.

During his discussions with Hungary’s President Janos Ader, Prime Minister Viktor Orban and other top leadership, both the countries favoured elimination of the menace of terrorism and sought a strong global legal framework and sustained global action to deal with the threat.

The Hungarian Prime Minister had said his country has set up a working group on technology to explore the possibilities of bilateral cooperation in various issues, including defence production for mutual benefits.

During his two-day visit to Algeria, Ansari had wide ranging discussions with Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Prime Minister Sellal and Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra and stressed on taking the India—Algeria ties to a new level and how to “rejuvenate” the bilateral relations, officials said.