The newspaper said Dick Cheney will discuss with Algerian officials strategic cooperation between the US and North African countries known as the Arab Maghreb.

 

The newspaper said the US is pushing for access to Algeria's oil production and to re-establish strong oil ties with Libya.   

 

Economic analysts believe the volatile situation in the Middle East has pushed the US to seek oil resources coming from a calmer region, al-Khabar said.

 

Bush said in January that the US would reduce its dependence on Middle Eastern oil for the coming two decades.

 

The US and Algeria have strengthened ties since the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and the Pentagon.

 

Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary, stressed during a visit in February that Algeria is a US ally in the "war on terror".