U.S. Army Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander of U.S. Africa Command, met with President Abdelmajid Tebboune in Algiers, Algeria Sept. 22, to discuss regional security issues and engagement opportunities. Tebboune, who simultaneously holds the position of minister of defense, was elected as president in December 2019. \u201cWe would like to strengthen our ties with Algeria, and we look forward to both increasing engagements and furthering our cooperation,\u201d said Townsend. Townsend congratulated Tebboune on the nation\u2019s successful presidential elections and his election as President. Tebboune and Townsend discussed strengthening bilateral ties and assisting each other in common areas of concern including regional stability and the need to degrade the influence of violent extremist organizations, such as Al-Qaeda affiliates. Algeria, the largest country in Africa, occupies an important location on the southern coast of the Mediterranean. \u201cAlgeria is a committed counterterrorism partner. They play a central role to the security of North Africa and the Mediterranean,\u201d said Townsend. \u201cThe stability and security of this region is important to U.S., African, and European interests.\u201d The leaders also discussed regional security concerns, including the ongoing conflict in Libya and the recent mutiny in Mali. Both nations share borders with Algeria. \u00a0During the visit, the U.S. delegation met with a number of Algerian leaders, including newly-appointed Chief of Defense, Lt. Gen. Said Chanegriha; and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sabri Boukadoum.\u00a0\u00a0 \u00a0The U.S. is one of Algeria\u2019s top trading partners and Algeria is one of the top U.S. trading partners in the Middle East\/North Africa region. \u00a0is the first visit to Algeria by U.S. Africa Command commander since 2018.