From Algeria, Sisi calls for coordinated efforts to fight terror
ALGIERS - Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called for coordinated efforts to fight "terrorism" during a visit to Algiers on Wednesday, his first trip abroad since his election in May.
"The purpose of my visit to Algeria is to reach a shared vision of common interests and challenges facing the two countries and the region," Algerian official media quoted the ex-army chief as saying.
"The two countries need to work together on a number of issues," he added, citing the problem of "terrorism... (which requires) a coordination of positions."
Sisi was met by Algerian premier Abdelmalek Sellal and Senate speaker Abdelkader Bensalah, and was later received by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, whose chronic health problems have severely limited his movements.
Algeria and Egypt both share long borders with Libya, which has been gripped by deadly violence since the NATO-backed ouster of dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011 that scattered weapons across the Sahara region and has provided refuge for jihadists.
Sisi, who toppled Islamist president Mohamed Morsi while army chief last July, won by a landslide in May's presidential poll, after crushing the opposition.
Egypt designated Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood movement a terrorist organisation in December and its members have been subjected to a massive crackdown, which has left more than 1,400 people dead and at least 15,000 jailed.
Algeria called for a "peaceful transition" after the ouster of Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected president.
His overthrow and the outlawing of the Muslim Brotherhood have prompted references to the Algerian army's decision in the early 1990s to cancel elections that an Islamist party was poised to win.
The move sparked almost a decade of devastating civil war, in which up to 200,000 people were killed in fighting between Islamist insurgents and the military, which remains a dominant force in Algeria.
Despite a decline in deadly unrest under Bouteflika, jihadists still operate in Algeria, and since the 2011 uprisings toppled dictators across the region, Algeria has been increasingly vulnerable to attacks from neighbouring Mali and Libya.