Coach Belmadi Assures Algeria can win Afcon 2019 Tournament

Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi said in El Cairo that he believes his team can win the African Cup of Nations (Afcon 2019), even if no one else thinks the same.

We have been saying for some time now that we are here to do what nobody believes we can do. We believe in it, to be a bit ambitious is free of charge, even if the bar is set very high, said Belmadi said at a press conference.

The strategist highlighted that while many coaches avoid saying their team is favorite, he boldly aims to win the first Afcon crown for the Desert Foxes since 1990.

On Sunday, Algeria beat the Guinea team 3-0 in the round of 16, which was possibly the best performance of any team participating in the competition so far.

The North African team, pit in the quarterfinals against the winner between the Ivory Coast and Mali, scheduled to play this Monday, has won all its matches in the tournament without conceding even one goal.

We may not reach our goal, but we will do everything possible to get there, said Belmadi.

The 43-year-old coach was appointed last August, which brought an end to an agitated period during which Algeria changed coaches six times in two years.

Despite having one of the most talented squads in Africa, they were eliminated in the group stage in the previous Afcon in 2017 and could not qualify for the World Cup last year.

  • Published in Sports

Forty three Countries to Attend 28th International Book Fair in Cuba

The 28th International Book Fair (FIL), scheduled to be held from February 7 to 17, will be attended by representatives of 43 countries from five continents, organizers announced here.

Sonia Almaguer, director of the Cuban Book Chamber, confirmed on Tuesday in a press conference that the guest of honor will be the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria. It also paid tribute to the Cuban writer Eduardo Heras Leon, winner of the National Prize for Literature (2014) and Edition (2001).

Out of the 43 countries confirmed so far, Algeria, Argentina, Mexico, the United States and Chile will be the most represented.

The general roster includes professionals from 23 Latin American nations; although it is composed of intellectuals from all over the world.

According to Almaguer, 120 exhibitors from some twenty countries, 354 authors and book professionals are expected to attend.

During the event, the prizes for Literature, Design Edition, History, the Nicolas Guillen poetry award and the Alejo Carpentier novel, short story and essay, among others, will be awarded.

The FIL in its 28th edition will be dedicated to the 60th anniversary of the Triumph of the Cuban Revolution and to the 500th anniversary of the foundation of Havana.

Authors, editors, translators, designers, illustrators, distributors and the general public will flood the different sites of San Carlos de la Cabaña Fortress, a vast cultural and museological complex in Havana as the main host of the event.

The FIL , due to its extensive academic, artistic and literary program, impossible to concentrate in a single location, will use as collateral host sites the Cuba Pavilion, ALBA Cultural House, the Jose Marti National Library, the University of Havana and the Dulce Maria Loynaz Center.

The Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC), the Vicente Revuelta Center and the Casa de las Americas, among other institutions, will also function as sub headquarters.

The director of FIL's literary program, Edel Morales, announced the realization of several meetings, panels and forums, among them one dedicated to highlight Heras Leon's work, whose books can be bought there and at different sales points.

The children's pavilion Tesoro de Papel will once again offer works dedicated to this audience and young people, with additional options to complement learning and recreation.

For his part, the president of the Cuban Book Institute, Juan Rodriguez Cabrera, reaffirmed the principles of non-drinking, organization, quietness and broad popular participation, facilitated by the bus network from and to the main headquarters.

More than 600 novelties will undoubtedly attract the FIL public this year, the most important event in the Cuban editorial sector and the most important cultural space in the country.

Rodriguez Cabrera reported that the general event will conclude on April 14, in the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba, after having extended it to most of the country's provinces.

  • Published in Culture

Cuba’s Health Minister hails cooperation with Algeria

Cuba's Minister of Public Health and Vice-President of the Council of State of the Caribbean nation, Roberto Morales Ojeda, has hailed the level of Algeria-Cuba relations and health co-operation, while stressing his willingness to further broaden them.

In a media statement ahead of talks here Thursday with Algerian Minister of Health, Population and Hospital Reform Mokhtar Hasbellaoui, Morales Ojeda hailed the quality of the historical relations between the two countries.

He added that his discussions with his local counterpart would enable them to assess the work done so far by the two countries to develop their co-operation in the field of health, notably the projects related to ophthalmology, maternity and child health, urology and oncology.

The Cuban health minister recalled that 900 Cubans had worked in Algeria under this co-operation and expressed satisfaction with the conditions in which they fulfilled their duty.

“Broadening bilateral co-operation will focus on the bio-medical and bio-pharmaceutical industry,” stated Morales Ojeda, who added that that both countries intend to set up technical teams to make proposals on a mutually beneficial co-operation.

Hasebellaoui referred to partnership in biotechnology and said that this issue is being examined. “Goals will be set under bilateral co-operation between Algeria and Cuba,” affirmed the minister.

“Technical teams will discuss partnership opportunities between national companies with knowhow in the field of pharmaceutical technology and the Cuban teams,” he said, stressing that “Cuba also has knowhow in biotechnology. Technical teams will provide conclusions on the projects to be launched.”

  • Published in Cuba

Cuba to Increase its Health Mission to Algeria

Cuba is set to increase its export of medical services to Algeria, as the two governments ended bilateral economic and trade ties talks in Havana, Cuba Tuesday.


Cuba to Boast Second-Highest Female Majority in Parliament?

The Algerian Minister of Health, Population and Hospital Reform, Mokhtar Hasbellaoui, and the Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, Rodrigo Malmierca, closed the XXI session of the Intergovernmental Commission, signing a number of agreements in the areas of health, biotechnology, water resources, sports, agriculture, education and foreign trade.

The Algerian minister also highlighted joint business developments between the two, as well as the signing of a framework for increased collaboration in the field of health.  

The agreement comes as part and parcel of a long, shared history between the two countries, that extends back prior to Algerian independence.

In 1961, the representative of the Provisional Government of Algeria (GPRA) Lakhdar Brahimi met with Cuba’s late revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, and Minister of Industry, Che Guevara.

As soon as Algeria won its independence from France the next year, it wasted no time establishing ties with Cuba.

From early on, Cuba provided military aid and medical assistance to the newly independent country.

The first Cuban health mission arrived in the North African country in May 1963 with 56 Cuban doctors. Today, more than 1,000 Cuban medical practitioners, work in health fields across the country as part of its ongoing health agreement.

  • Published in Cuba

Sellal holds talks in Havana with President of Cuba's National Assembly of People's Power

Premier Minister Abdelmalek Sellal held talks Wednesday in Havana (Cuba) with President of Cuba's National Assembly of People's Power Esteban Lazo Hernandez.

The meeting took place in the presence of Minister of State, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Ramtane Lamamra and Minister of Health, Population and Hospital Reform Abdelmalek Boudiaf.

Previously, Sellal visited the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology and the Museum of the Cuban Revolution.  

Sellal, who arrived Wednesday in Havana for a three-day visit, at the invitation of the first deputy chairman of Cuba's Council of State and the Council of Ministers, Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez.

  • Published in Cuba

Saudis, Iran Dash Hopes for OPEC Oil Deal in Algeria

The Saudi and Iranian economies depend heavily on oil, but Iran is seeing the pressure easing as it emerges from years of sanctions.

Saudi Arabia and Iran on Tuesday dashed hopes that OPEC oil producers could clinch an output-limiting deal in Algeria this week as sources within the exporter group said the differences between the kingdom and Tehran remained too wide.

RELATED: Algeria Will Not Leave OPEC 'Empty Handed'

"This is a consultative meeting ... We will consult with everyone else, we will hear the views, we will hear the secretariat of OPEC and also hear from consumers," Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told reporters.

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said: "It is not the time for decision-making." Referring to the next formal OPEC meeting in Vienna on Nov. 30, he added: "We will try to reach agreement for November."

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will hold informal talks at 2:00 p.m. GMT on Wednesday. Its members are also meeting non-OPEC producers such as Russia on the sidelines of the International Energy Forum, which groups producers and consumers.

Brent crude oil prices have more than halved from 2014 levels due to oversupply, prompting OPEC producers and rival Russia to seek a market rebalancing that would boost revenues from oil exports and help their crippled budgets.

The predominant idea since early 2016 among producers has been to agree to freeze output levels, although market watchers have said such a move would fail to reduce unwanted barrels.

Sources told Reuters last week that Saudi Arabia had offered to reduce its output if Iran agreed to freeze production, a shift in Riyadh's position as the kingdom had previously refused to discuss output cuts.

On Monday, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said expectations should be modest and several OPEC delegates said the positions of Saudi Arabia and Iran remained too far apart. Oil prices were down more than 1 percent in Tuesday trade. [O/R]

Three OPEC sources said Iran, whose production has stagnated at 3.6 million barrels per day, insisted on having the right to ramp that up to around 4.1-4.2 million barrels per day, while OPEC Gulf members wanted its output to be frozen below 4 million.

"Don't expect anything unless Iran suddenly changes its mind and agrees to a freeze. But I don't think they will," an OPEC source familiar with discussions said.

What Iran Wants

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak was due to meet Zanganeh on Tuesday in what sources said was a new attempt to persuade Tehran to play ball.

RELATED: Latin America Oil Producers Push to Bolster Prices

Iranian oil sources said Tehran wanted OPEC to allow it to produce 12.7 percent of the group's output, equal to what it was extracting before 2012, when the European Union imposed additional sanctions on the country for its nuclear activities.

Sanctions were eased in January 2016.

Between 2012 and 2016, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf OPEC members have raised output to compete for market share with higher-cost producers such as the United States.

As a result, Iran believes its fair production share in OPEC should be higher than its current output, which it says should rise once Tehran agrees to new investments with international oil companies.

"Iran believes this is a just volume of production, which it had prior to the sanctions. This has been discussed more than once," Novak said on Tuesday.

The Saudi and Iranian economies depend heavily on oil, but Iran is seeing the pressure easing as it emerges from years of sanctions. Riyadh, on the other hand, faces a second year of record budget deficits and is being forced to cut the salaries of government employees.

Falih said he was, nevertheless, optimistic about the oil market although rebalancing was taking longer than expected.

"The market is trending in the right direction, slower than what we had hoped for a few months ago but the fundamentals are moving in the right direction," Falih told reporters.

"From that aspect we are feeling good about the market and I think the rebalancing is here but taking (longer) than what we had hoped."

He said record global stocks of oil had started to decline: "How fast will it take place, it also depends on the production agreement. If there is a consensus on one in the next few months, Saudi Arabia will be with the consensus view."

  • Published in World

Final Tally for Air Algerie Crash 116: Burkinabe Official

Ouagadougou:  Two people originally believed to have travelled on an Air Algerie plane that crashed in Mali last week did not board the flight, reducing the official death toll to 116, a senior official in Burkina Faso said on Friday.

  • Published in World
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