The 8th meeting of Army Chief of Staff of the 5 5 Defence Initiative, involving first North African and five Southern European nations is taking place this week in Algiers.

The high-level meeting which began Wednesday is part of the 2016 action plan 2016 of the initiative, of which Algeria currently holds the rotating presidency. It was chaired by Major General Ahcene Tafer, the Commander of Land Forces, representing Lieutenant-General Ahmed Gaid Salah, the Deputy Minister of the National Defence and Chief of Staff of Algeria’s People’s National Army.

Gen. Tafer said the 5 5 Defence Initiative was one of the most active regional forums in terms of multilateral co-operation, consultations and dialogue on security issues.

“In a regional context marked by the density of activities of the fight against terrorism and organized crime, accentuated by the risks caused by migratory flows in the region, the member countries of the 5 5 Defence Initiative are the first players of our security through our capacity to gather together round a regular dialogue and an added value military co-operation,” he added.

He affirmed the importance given by the high command of the People’s National Army for the success of this meeting.

The Army Chiefs of Staff of the member countries also expressed their countries’ willingness to strengthen the growing power of this process of co-operation to face the different threats in the region and underlined the activities undertaken by their countries in the fields of common interest.

The 5 5 Defence Initiative brings together Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania and Tunisia from the southern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and France, Spain, Italy, Malta and Portugal from the northern shore.