Algiers: A US defence official said on Wednesday that the fight against terrorism is best fought by the countries directly affected by a particular threat and foreign intervention should be taken as a last resort.
"It is my view that the problem of terrorism is best dealt with by the countries that are the most affected. Intervention by outsiders, especially the use of force by outsiders, needs to be a last resort," said Joseph McMillan, US principal deputy assistant defence secretary for international security affairs.
McMillan made his comments to journalists in Algiers after two days of what he called "very productive" talks with Algerian authorities.
"It is very much the preference of my country to help countries like Algeria take the lead and deal with the problem in their own region," said McMillan, who complimented Algeria`s Defence Ministry for taking "the initiative to bring together the countries of the region to try to create a unified response to the threat”.
He pointed to Algeria`s creation of a regional centre in Tamanrasset in the south of the country along with the Army chiefs of staff of Mauritania, Mali and Niger.
The countries of the northern African region have banded together in the face of increasing attacks and kidnappings by an al Qaeda affiliate, known as Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
McMillan said the United States would give Algeria technological aid though he declined to give details.
He added that he discussed with the Algerians the possibility of purchasing sophisticated material, especially for the country`s Air Force, but that these talks were at a preliminary stage, as were any possible joint military exercises.