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« Perspectives for political change in Algeria »

Geneva, 15 November 2008
The Centre for Peace Studies of the Cordoba Foundation organised on 13-15 November 2008, in Geneva, a meeting on the « Perspectives for political change in Algeria ». The object of the conference was to assess the current situation in Algeria and explore how the political forces outside the control of the regime may bring about the rule of law, using non-violent methods, in order to restore the dignity and freedom of Algerians.

A number of political figures, labour union leaders, journalists and academics, representing the various political trends in the country, took part in this event, including Abdelhamid Mehri, Lahouari Addi, Abbas Aroua, Djamel Benchenouf, Ahmed Benmohammed, Mourad Dhina, Malik Djoudi, Nacéra Ghozlane, Saâd Lounès, Rachid Malaoui, Rachid Mesli, Saïd Morsi, Youcef Nedjadi, Yacine Saadi, Salaheddine Sidhoum, and Mohamed-Larbi Zitout.

The meeting was concluded with an open talk and public debate, on the same theme, which was attended by Algerian expatriates as well as a number of observers and journalists interested in Algerian affairs. Most of the questions raised at the public talk dealt with concerns about the seriousness of the situation.

The conference participants issued the following communiqué:
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Communiqué

Invited by The Centre for Peace Studies of the Cordoba Foundation, a number of Algerian figures, including Abdelhamid Mehri, Lahouari Addi, Abbas Aroua, Djamel Benchenouf, Mourad Dhina, Malik Djoudi, Saâd Lounès, Rachid Mesli, Youcef Nedjadi, Yacine Saadi, Salaheddine Sidhoum, and Mohamed-Larbi Zitout, took part in a meeting in order to assess the current situation in Algeria and discuss the Perspectives for political change in the country.

The above-mentioned participants agreed:

1. To express their strong concerns about the country’s worsening situation and the threats it faces at various levels;

2. That the regime in place is incapable of solving the problems of the country and unable to restore the citizens’ trust and hope;

3. On the need for a regime change which remains a pressing popular demand;

4. That the process of change must be radical, consensual and non-violent;

5. On the need to involve all political forces aspiring for this change, whatever their ideologies, political trends or area of activity;

6. That the proclamation of 1st November 1954 may be the basis for a wide-ranging national framework once it is updated through a thoughtful and consensual re-interpretation;

7. That this change requires the political and social dynamics resulting from the consultation, coordination and joint action of all those willing to put the country right;

They support all the initiatives demanding this change and call for their expansion to all levels and segments of society.

They reaffirm their confidence in the Algerian people’s ability to solve this crisis and establish the rule of law for which generations of martyrs and activists have sacrificed themselves.

Geneva, 15 November 2008
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