First visit of an Algerian Head of State to NATO HQ
The President of the People's Republic of Algeria, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, on an official visit to Belgium, came to NATO HQ for a bilateral meeting with Lord Robertson on 20 December 2001. This is the first ever visit by an Algerian Head of State to the Alliance's headquarters in Brussels.
At a joint press conference with Lord Robertson, President Bouteflika said this meeting had been particularly important, adding that Algeria's participation in NATO's Mediterranean Dialogue was a strategic option which reflected Algeria's belief that peace and security in the region could only be guaranteed by dialogue and cooperation.
The President said the meeting had given him the opportunity to discuss Algeria's relations with NATO, as well as current international security issues and terrorism. Lord Robertson added that countries of the Southern Mediterranean and NATO were closely linked in the fight against terrorism. He concluded by saying that the Alliance was in the process of developing its Mediterranean Dialogue and hoped this historic visit would not be the last.