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ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has called on Arab nations to work together to fight illegal migration and the networks that feed them.

In a message read to a meeting in Algiers of Arab interior ministers, Abdelaziz Bouteflika said that “we cannot close our eyes” to criminal networks exploiting migrants and endangering “the stability and security of our countries.”

He said that a “common approach” is needed.

The presidential message delivered on Wednesday underscored that North African nations are also coping with migration, notably sub-Saharan migrants who remain there rather than continue their perilous journeys to Europe.

It is unclear how many migrants have settled in Algeria, or how many Algerian citizens have tried to make the Mediterranean crossing.

The presence of Sub-Saharan migrants has raised tensions with local populations in Algeria.