Algeria criticises US ‘double-standards’ over watchlist

Algiers–Algeria’s foreign minister hit out Monday at the United States’ decision to put it on a terror watchlist as part of new aviation security measures, accusing Washington of "double standards."

Mourad Medelci said he had told visiting US diplomat Janet Sanderson in talks in Algiers that "Algeria regrets that methods used by certain countries to ensure their security correspond to a policy of double-standards."

Sanderson, the US State Department’s deputy assistant secretary for the Gulf, began an official visit on Sunday.

Asked if Algeria had received guarantees that it would be scratched from the list, Medelci said "the real guarantee is the quality of the relationship between Algeria and the United States."

"This guarantee is founded on confidence, and armed with this confidence I am persuaded that we will eventually find more satisfactory solutions which are acceptable to the international community’s plan to work together, and in a more efficient manner against the scourge of terrorism, which concerns us all," he said.

Sanderson was quoted by the state news agency APS as saying she was aware of Algeria’s stance, but reiterating that the United States was not targeting any particular country with the measures, which she said would evolve.

Washington compiled a 14-nation terror watchlist in the wake of the failed Christmas Day airliner bombing

Travelers flying directly or indirectly to the United States from countries on the list are subject to enhanced security screening.

The list includes Iran, Nigeria, Syria and Yemen, and a number of countries have strongly protested against their inclusion.

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