UK-Algeria security partnership announced

A road sign indicating Tiguentourine, Algeria, near In Amenas on a road leading to the gas complex where Islamist militant gunmen took hostages on Jan. 19, 2013.

The UK has agreed to share intelligence and crisis response expertise with Algeria following a hostage crisis there this month in which 37 gas plant workers, including six British citizens, were killed by Islamic militants, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.

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“Both Britain and Algeria are countries that have suffered from terrorism, and we understand each other’s suffering,” Cameron said Wednesday at a press conference following talks with Algerian President Minister Abdelmalek Sellal, the Associated Press reported. “What we have agreed is a strengthened partnership that looks at how we combat terrorism and how we improve security of this region.”

Sir John Sawers, the head of Britain’s international spy agency MI6, accompanied Cameron on the trip, the AP reported. As part of strengthening both countries’ ability to fight terrorism, UK Special Forces may train the Algerian Army in counter-terrorism tactics, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.

According to the AP:

Britain also has invited Algeria to take part in a joint contingency planning exercise to share experiences in crisis response.

Cameron is the first UK prime minister to visit Algeria since the country gained independence in 1962, the AP reported. Until the In Amenas gas plant attack occurred, Cameron had never had a conversation with the Algerian president, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.