Tunisia Launches Diplomatic Offensive to Complete Transition

Tunis — Interim Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa is paying a visit to the United States.

He will be received next April 4 at the White House by President Barack Obama.

According to the Office of the Press Secretary at the White House, President Obama “looks forward to discussing the commitment Tunisia’s leaders have made to advancing democracy and see how the United States can further support Tunisia’s historical transition.”

The leaders will discuss a broad range of bilateral and regional issues of mutual interest, including U.S. economic, political and security assistance to support the Prime Minister’s reform agenda and Tunisia’s stability, also said a press release posted on the US Embassy in Tunis.

Mehdi Jomaa’s visit to the United States reflects the strong bonds of friendship between the American and Tunisian people, and America’s enduring commitment to Tunisia’s democratic transition, the same source indicated.

Mehdi Jomaa, who took office two months ago, has immediately pledged to boost the economy and revive growth.

After diagnosing early March “a difficult economic situation that may worsen if urgent measures are not taken,” Jomaa has assigned to his government three major goals: job creation through the encouragement of initiative and development of micro-enterprises, promotion of private investment in interior regions and accelerating the pace of implementation of blocked regional projects.”

To this end, Jomaa seems to make of economic diplomacy, the mainstay of his government’s policy. By insisting on the contribution of this component to Tunisia’s economic growth, he announced early March in a television interview his intention to build up his contacts with sisterly and friendly countries.

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Arab Women’s Handball Cup Winners’ Cup – Day 1 – Two Wins, 1 Defeat for Tunisian Clubs

Tunis — Tunisia’s Annour Ariana beat Algeria’s CS Constantine 28-16, at a an Arab Women’s Handball Cup Winners’ Cup Group A day-1 game played Saturday in Sayada.

On their part, Tunisia’s AS Megrine secured a 30-20 win over Qatar’s Al-Sadd at a Group B game. The other Tunisian club, ASF Mahdia conceded a narrow defeat to Algeria’s C. Abiar (18-19) as part of the same group…

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FAO calls for action to accelerate economic transformation and development in Africa / Focus on smallholder farmers and family farming as Regional Conference for Africa gets under way

TUNIS, Tunisia, March 24, 2014 – Despite important economic progress and agricultural successes, Africa remains the world’s most food insecure continent, with relatively low levels of agricultural productivity, low rural incomes, and high rates of malnutrition, FAO said today. As the Organization’s 28th Regional Conference for Africa gathers in Tunis, FAO is calling on African ministers of agriculture for action […]

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Tunisia Contacted Libyan Authorities to Inquire About Abduction of Embassy Staff Member – FM

Tunis — The Foreign Ministry established contacts with the Libyan authorities, in co-ordination with the Presidency of the Republic, to obtain accurate information regarding the abduction Friday of a staff member of the Tunisian Embassy in Tripoli by unknown individuals, said a press release of the Foreign Ministry.

The Ministry called on the Libyan authorities to make their utmost to set free the kidnapped man and protect staff members of Tunisian diplomatic and consular missions in Libya, the press release further said.

The Foreign Ministry is closely following up the situation of Tunisian expatriates in Libya, the same source added.

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Ben Jaafar – Tunisian Constitution Reconciled Electoral and Consensual Legitimacy

Venice — President of the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) Mustapha Ben Jaafar said the Tunisian Constitution has managed to reconcile electoral legitimacy and consensual legitimacy.

At the 98th plenary session of the Venice Commission, he added the new fundamental law, promulgated last January, guarantees fundamental liberties and institutes for the first time a Constitutional Court, according to the NCA presidency spokesman.

Ben Jaafar emphasised the importance to reach consensus around the electoral law, highlighting the support provided by the Venice Commission to the transitional process in Tunisia.

He spoke of the NCA hearing sessions of the Venice Commission’s experts, also called the European Commission for Democracy Through Law.

“The political process is on the right track, thanks to the new Constitution and an independent government which will lead the country to the next electoral events, away from political partisanship,” he said.

For his part, President of the Venice Commission Gianni Buchicchio noted that the Tunisian Constitution is a model that reflects anchoring of national identity and openness on universal values.

He voiced the readiness of the Europe Council body to continue backing the transition process in Tunisia and provide the necessary expertise to strengthen the Constitutional institutions, namely the Constitutional Court.

Ben Jaafar takes part in the works of the Venice Commission at the invitation of its President.

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UN Development Assistance Framework for 2015-2019 Period Signed

[Tunis Afrique Presse]Tunis, -A United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) was signed, Friday in Tunis, by Minister of Foreign Affairs Mongi Hamdi and resident representative of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Tunisia Mounir Thabet. The 2015-2019 UNDAF disposes of a budget of ê 212 million. By virtue of the UNDAF, the United Nations pledges to provide to Tunisia a technical and financial assistance in the following fields :

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Three Gulf Countries to Provide Financial Assistance to Tunisian Budget, According to Foreign Minister

Tunis, — Minister of Foreign Affairs Mongi Hamdi reported the readiness expressed by the Gulf countries to assist Tunisia, economically, notably in terms of investments to overcome the immediate economic difficulties, “by improving its budget.” He cited in particular, the state of the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait.

The amount of the financial assistance to be provided to the Tunisian government by these three countries will be set during the next meetings of the respective joints committees, he specified.

During a meeting with the press in Tunis, meant to take stock of the trip that Prime Minister Mehdi Jomâa had paid to five Arab Gulf countries. According to him, it was agreed that the investors of these countries will shortly visit Tunisia to examine the feasibility of some key projects. This is also the case of co-operation between Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates, the economic city of Enfidha, the international deep water port in Rades and the Tunis Sport City.

The Minister also said that Kuwait had requested Tunisia to facilitate the work of Kuwaiti investors.

All the projects agreed with the Gulf countries will be implemented under the shape of foreign direct investment (FDI) in partnership with the Tunisian businessmen and as part of taking into account the national interest, Hamdi specified, estimating that the projects in question will contribute to resolve the problem of unemployment, improve the situation in the underprivileged areas and favour the development of agriculture.

The Gulf countries voiced will to engage the services of the Tunisian technical skills and in matters of security co-operation. The United Arab Emirates expressed readiness to provide equipment for the Tunisian security forces, he further said.

According to the Foreign Minister, “the Tunisian diplomatic action had focused, earlier, on Europe while the Gulf countries hold a vanguard position on the Arab and Islamic levels and plays a key role in the world.” This tendency should be corrected, he said, underlining that this was one of the objectives of the Prime Minister’s journey in the Gulf countries.

He also noted that the Tunisian relations with the Gulf countries and the level of exchanges are “below the expectations” and that “this visit aimed to hoist the relations to higher levels and sell Tunisia’s destination.”

Describing them as “excellent”, Hamdi said that the visits to the five Gulf countries had allowed to tackle the relations of political, economic and security co-operation and explain the progress achieved by Tunisia in its transition process.

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