HPR: Defence Committee meets with US Delegation behind closed doors | Tunisia News Gazette

HPR: Defence Committee meets with US Delegation behind closed doors

The parliamentary defence committee held a working session on Tuesday afternoon in the presence of members of the Committee on the organisation of armed forces administration and affairs and a delegation of military officials and policies of the American embassy to Tunisia during which they discussed the level of Tunisian-American cooperation in the military field.

Committee President Abdellatif El Mekki said in a statement to the media on the fringes of the meeting held behind closed doors that the US delegation affirmed “the existence of several mechanisms avoiding Tunisia a drop in US aid”.

He insisted, however, on the need for Tunisia to make more effort with the US Congress to reverse the decisions that can be made about US aid to Tunisia.

Abdellatif Mekki said that the members of the delegation insisted on the need to preserve these aids and to support the efforts of Tunisia in the fight against terrorism.

According to a statement by the parliament, the US delegation presented at the beginning of the session a briefing on the military cooperation programmes of the US Secretary of Foreign Affairs and the US Secretary of Defence.

The main objective of these projects is to support and promote military capabilities in Tunisia.

The Delegation also outlined a strategic vision for bilateral cooperation between the US Department of Defence and Tunisia, particularly in terms of support for institutions such as Defence, Intelligence, Border protection and fight against terrorism.

The presentation also reviewed the main resources provided by the United States for military cooperation between the two countries.

The delegation also commended the efforts made by the Tunisian security and military forces in the fight against terrorism.

The administration of the new US President Donald Trump proposed in its draft budget of 2018 to grant Tunisia aid worth $ 54.6 million (133.5 million dinars), down 85.5 million (209.8 million dinars) from the year 2017.

In a statement to the TAP news agency, a source from the US embassy in Tunis said that “the new draft finance bill does not require bilateral financing of Foreign Military Forces (FMF) for Tunisia and by country”.

In turn, Economic Adviser for the Prime Minister Faisal Hafiane, said that the visit of PM Youssef Chahed to the United States (July 10-12, 2017) was aimed to convince Congress and the US Senate not to reduce aid to Tunisia.

Source: TAP News Agency

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