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French FM expected in Tunis next week

Published the:  16/04/2011

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April 16, 2011 - TAP - French Foreign Affairs Minister Alain Juppé said, on Saturday, he would visit Tunisia the coming week, AFP reported on Saturday.
This first visit of the French FM to Tunisia since taking office on March 1, 2011, comes as voices are raised criticising the poor international support.
"Tunisia is not at all let down. We are making all efforts to assist it. I will travel to Tunisia next week," Juppé told journalists, on the sidelines of a symposium held by his Ministry on the "Arab Spring" at the Paris-based Institute of Arab World.
"If the economy fails to revive (there), economic transition will be difficult. The most efficient thing we, the North European countries, could do is to invest massively to help countries in democratic transition recover their economic situation and sufficient growth rate," Juppé added.
Economist Guy Sorman, participating in the symposium, said that, "in order to establish democracy, a growth rate from 8% to 10% is needed. This is possible", he assured.
During the same symposium, Chairwoman of the International Federation for Human Rights Souhayr Belhassen severely criticized the European Union and France who are "cautious," according to her, in their support to the Revolution in Tunisia.
She called on Europe to pay more attention to Tunisia and not only to illegal immigration.
There are "threats weighing on the Tunisian Revolution", as a result particularly of the "risk of real disillusionment of the population because of the lack of progress", she told attendees of the symposium, among whom Mr. Alain Juppé.