Algerian bloggers welcome reciprocity call on terrorism-related air travel watch lists

February 3, 2010
By
Noureddine Zehrouni

Algerians have welcomed a statement by their interior minister to apply the reciprocity principle on special terrorism-related air travel watch lists.

The US last month directed airlines to give US-bound travellers from 14 countries, including Algeria, full-body pat-downs. following a botched effort by a Nigerian to blow up an airliner over Detroit on Christmas,

However, on Tuesday, Noureddine Yazid Zerhouni said that it was “unacceptable” for Algeria to be on such list and that “if need be, we shall apply the rule of reciprocity.”

 “We will wait and see how the US is going to apply the precautionary measures it had talked about towards Algerian nationals. Should the US move forward towards imposing specific monitoring measures, Algeria will announce its official stance on the matter,” Zerhouni said at the end of a parliament session. “Should our nationals be subjected to exceptional control measures at US airports, we will not hesitate to apply the same principles in Algeria with the Americans,” he said.

Algeria’s government last month summoned US ambassador David D. Pearce to protest the “unfortunate, unjustified and discriminatory” decision.

Algerians have accepted the Algerian move, claiming it was a matter of honour of the country. However, several bloggers urged Zehrouni to include France in the reciprocity threats, arguing that Algeria was also among seven countries on a French list.

“Do not forget France in your claims and do not confine the threats to the US,” a reader identifying himself as “the son of Algerian martyr Al Arbi Wahran” wrote. “France has first to apologise for colonizing us for 135 years and must also pay compensations for all these year.”

Rym wrote that she supported the minister’s move, but insisted that it not be confined to the US.

“Please Si (Mister) Mohammad, do not forget France in your statements. We are with you on the US move, but Paris should also be included,” she wrote.

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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