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"Tunisian-Italian migration agreement has turned out well in recent weeks", says Paolo Gentiloni

Published the:  25/11/2017

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(TAP) - "The agreement reached between Tunisia and Italy on migration since 2012 has turned out well in recent weeks," Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said on Saturday.

"This agreement did not bear fruit last summer, but today it works well," he added at a press conference after his meeting at the Government Palace in the Kasbah with his Tunisian counterpart, Youssef Chahed.

"Tunisia and Italy, which share the same visions, are working together to fight effectively against terrorism and irregular migration," he pointed out.

"Stability and security in the Mediterranean region and especially in Libya is a common concern of both countries," he said, emphasising the importance that Italy and the European Union attach to post-revolution Tunisia which, according to him, has great economic potential.

In this regard, Gentiloni stressed the importance of the electrical connection project between Tunisia and Italy, saying “it is at the heart of the priorities of the European Union".

The Italian PM’s visit aims to re-launch the agreement signed on May 16, 2012 between Tunisia and Italy to build a strategic partnership between the two countries and establish mechanisms for periodic negotiation to promote the bilateral partnership in all areas and deepen the negotiations on regional and international issues of common interest, Prime Minister Youssef Chahed pointed out on his part.

This visit is also an opportunity to follow up on the results of the state visit paid by President Beji Caid Essebsi to Italy on February 8 and 9, 2017 and more particularly the progress of the implementation of the agreements signed during that visit, he said.

Chahed said Tunisian-Italian relations have experienced over the last few years an important dynamic that has been reflected in particular in the support to the democratic process in Tunisia, the multiplication of visits by senior officials and the co-ordination of efforts to meet common security challenges and combat irregular migration.

In the same context, Youssef Chahed underscored the joint commitment to strengthen bilateral economic co-operation to help Tunisia confront the economic challenges and encourage Italian investments in Tunisia in particular in light of the benefits of the new investment code.

The point also is to encourage the Italians to choose the destination Tunisia especially since all the necessary security measures have been taken to welcome tourists and ensure their proper stay in Tunisia, Chahed indicated.

The Prime Minister also said he had agreed with his Italian counterpart to strengthen Tunisian-Italian cooperation in the field of youth and education, notably through the Erasmus programme of the Mediterranean which, he explained, "is a new co-operation mechanism aimed at promoting dialogue between cultures and young people".

The Prime Minister seized the opportunity to welcome Italy’s support to Tunisia’s economy, through its commitment to convert another part of the Tunisian debts into development projects and its initial agreement to finance an integrated development project in the region of Kebili for 55 million dinars.