ALGIERS, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika on Thursday called on his Tunisian counterpart Beji Caid Essebsi to further strengthen cooperation between the two countries to meet security challenges targeting the region.
"Our region is going through delicate stage in the midst of difficult challenges and critical security-related threats to our security and stability, which requires us today, more than ever before, to combine our efforts, our capabilities and our means to confront and counter them," Bouteflika said in a message to Essebsi on the occasion of the two countries' celebration of the 60th anniversary of the massacre committed by colonial France in the border village of Saqiet Sidi Youssef on February 8, 1958.
Bouteflika said that what was witnessed by Saqiet Sidi Youssef "is one of the finest heroic epics of the Algerian and Tunisian peoples, who combined their pure blood to embody the most beautiful forms of brotherhood and solidarity in defense of the principles of freedom and independence and rejection of the barbarism of colonialism and its unjust ideology."
These events "will remain an eternal memory which reminds us of the sacrifices of our martyrs, and inspires us to consolidating the historic and cultural ties that unite our two brotherly peoples," he concluded.
The village of Saqiet Sidi Youssef is located in the Tunisian territory near the Algerian border. It was targeted by French air forces on February 8, 1958, when Algeria was still under French occupation, in retaliation for being used as a refuge for Algerian independence fighters. Historians say the bombardment killed 70 innocent people, including tens of school pupils.