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Italy suggests operational cooperation in compliance with Tunisia's sovereignty

Published the:  15/02/2011

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February 15 –TAP - Italian foreign minister Franco Frattini announced on Monday evening in Tunis the establishment of an operational cooperation between Tunisia and Italy to stop the flow of illegal immigration.
Speaking at the end of a working session with caretaker prime minister Mohamed Ghannouchi , he said, in a statement to the press, that he had suggested to Tunisia "an operational cooperation in compliance with the sovereignty of the Tunisian state " to stop illegal immigration at the start. This cooperation, he declared, consists in " a package of pragmatic operational assistance " providing the Tunisian army with advanced technology equipment , a radar network for monitoring and patrol boats to be operated by the Tunisians. The FM announced as well the setting up of a technical committee to work out an operational program , stressing the importance of implementing the bilateral agreement concluded between the two countries in the field of emigration which implies "duties and obligations for both sides " with the possibility of revising the quotas for regular migrants.
Besides, the Italian FM affirmed that he came to Tunisia to reiterate his country's total support "to the peaceful political revolution " and to the access of Tunisia to the status of advanced partner of the European Union , expressing Italy's will to "finalize this agreement with the government of Mr. Ghannouchi".
He also announced in this context the lifting of restrictions for travelling to Tunisia , voicing his country's will to revive and provide new credit lines worth 100 million euros to finance plans that will be announced at the international conference scheduled for next march in Carthage.
A meeting will be held in this regard next Thursday in Italy by Tunisian officials and delegates of Italian small and medium firms, investment institutions and provinces.