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John McCain: budget bill providing for drop in US aid to Tunisia will not pass

Published the:  11/07/2017

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(TAP correspondent/Hassène khiari) - The finance bill for 2018, which provides for a significant drop in military and economic aid to Tunisia, will not pass in the US Congress, assured Tuesday, Republican senator of Arizona John McCain.

The Trump administration proposes to grant to Tunisia, during the fiscal year 2018, aid of only $ 54.6 million (133.5 MTD), a decrease of $ 85.8 million (209.8 MTD) compared with the year 2017.

The US senator spoke on the sidelines of a conference debate organised at the Heritage Foundation under the theme "Strategic partnership between the United States and Tunisia as “element of regional stability".

"Republicans and Democrats in the US Congress will not vote for a law in favour of decreasing economic aid to Tunisia," he added.

For his part, The President of the Government Youssef Chahed underlined before the members of the "Heritage Foundation", the resolute commitment of Tunisia to fight terrorism and corruption and to revive investment.

He also voiced hope to be able to count on the constant support of strategic partners of Tunisia including the United States.

The trip of Youssef Chahed in Washington, the first as Prime Minister, comes at a time when the new budget of the Trump administration for the year 2018 provides for a significant reduction of military and economic aid to Tunisia.

"Any downward revision of US security and economic aid to Tunisia risks sending a negative message to terrorist organisations as to the capabilities and promptness of the Tunisian security and military forces," Chahed said in a press statement.