USA, Turkey “Strongly Object” Algeria’s Decision to Exclude Moroccan Participants from Meeting on Terrorism

The USA and Turkey, which co-chair the Global Counter-terrorism Forum (GCTF), “strongly objected” on Friday the Algerian authorities’ decision to prevent a Moroccan delegation from taking part in a GCTF meeting held this February 4-6 in the Algerian capital.

“GCTF Co-Chairs, Turkey and the United States, strongly object to the exclusion of any GCTF member from this GCTF workshop that is being held in collaboration with the African Union’s Center on the Study and Research on Terrorism, says a release which stresses that this move “goes against the spirit of the GCTF, which is one of openness, inclusion, and informality.”

In a release, the two countries said the “unfortunate and regrettable” decision contradicts the spirit of this Forum which is openness and inclusion.

Following the Algerian authorities’ measure, the GCTF secretariat decided to withdraw its financial and administrative support to this meeting held in the Algerian capital.

“We have agreed to set aside politically divisive issues in order to develop practical responses to terrorism and violent extremism, which threaten all the countries represented in this room”, the document underscores, noting the GCTF “has sought from the beginning to include both members and non-members in its activities.”

“The Forum’s Sahel Region Capacity-Building Working Group, under whose auspices this meeting was co-organized, has been particularly effective in bringing to the table all the concerned states from North and West Africa who face a serious terrorism threat and who have experiences and perspectives to contribute to an effective inclusive and coordinated regional and international response”, the release insists.

“It is difficult to understand why the host of this workshop (Algeria), would exclude any state (Morocco), much less a GCTF member who is entitled to attend all GCTF activities – and who has hosted several GCTF events without excluding any GCTF members – as stated in the GCTF’s Terms of Reference”, the GCTF co-chairs goes on.

The two countries also express determination “to ensure that the GCTF will continue to be an open and inclusive platform for all who want to develop practical responses to terrorism.”