I propose to take Questions Nos. 177, 182 and 184 together.
Despite recent positive signals and statements on the part of the Algerian authorities and of a number of opposition forces for the ending of the seven years of civil conflict, there is continued opposition by some groups in Algeria to any settlement or reconciliation between the Government and its Islamist opponents. The security situation has seriously deteriorated in recent months after an improvement following the implementation of the general amnesty announced by President Bouteflika last year.
Progress in the area of human rights is a major objective in Ireland's bilateral relations with Algeria. The Government has expressed its deep concern at the horrendous loss of life and the human suffering caused by the civil conflict. We continue to take every appropriate opportunity in our bilateral contacts, through the process of dialogue between Algeria and the EU, and at the United Nations, to urge the Algerian authorities to take the necessary steps that will lead to an ending of the conflict, and for the establishment of independent mechanisms for the investigation of human rights violations and for bringing those responsible to justice.