"US increased its military and development assistance to Tunisia by 30%" (John Sullivan) | Tunisia News Gazette

“US increased its military and development assistance to Tunisia by 30%” (John Sullivan)

US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan said the United States is keen to support Tunisia’s efforts to improve security, build democratic institutions and consolidate economic growth.

After talks Friday evening in Dar Dhiafa with Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, he said that the US has increased their military and development assistance by more than 30% compared to 2016 to reach 205. 4 million dollars.

“I had talk with the Prime Minister on crucial economic reforms and anti-corruption measures that the Tunisian government is working to put in place that will lead to more economic growth and prosperity and foreign investment in Tunisia, as well as ‘better access to markets for Tunisian products in international markets,’ he said.

Sullivan said the United States supports Tunisia’s efforts to encourage inclusive economic growth and improve the business climate.

Asked about the possibility of his country granting a guarantee to a fourth loan to Tunisia, the US Deputy Secretary of State, said the United States is studying this issue, recalling that they had given their guarantee to a loan of $ 1.5 billion in 2011.

“The Tunisian-American economic relations are strong, based on several aspects, including investment, trade and cooperation in all fields,” he added.

He also highlighted the efforts of both countries in the fight against terrorism.

“During our discussions, the President, the Prime Minister and I emphasised the importance of mutual security for our two countries. We must consolidate our successes against ISIS and prevent terrorists to find refuges, “he asserted.

He said these groups continue to seek to gather in North Africa and threaten the United States and its partners, including Tunisia.

Sullivan noted that the recent terrorist attacks in Tunisia and New York underscore the importance of the two countries’ continued collaboration in ensuring mutual security, “which is more indispensable today than ever before”.

As Regards Libya, the US official said he will take advantage of his stay in Tunisia to meet Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj as the “United States commends for his efforts to promote dialogue and a political solution in Libya”.

“The Libyan political agreement remains the framework for a political solution to the conflict and a peaceful transition,” he said, pointing out that any attempt to impose a military solution, to impose artificial deadlines or to undermine the UN mediation in Libya will only destabilise the country.

“We praise Prime Minister Fayez Sarraj’s national consensual government and allied forces with this government for their leadership and courage in ending ISIS’s brutal occupation of the city of Sirte,” he said.

The Secretary of State reaffirmed that the United States remains fully committed to working with all Libyans and its international partners to resolve the political conflict in Libya and help advance the stabilisation process.

He also reiterated his country’s full support to the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Libya, Ghassan Salame, “who works to promote political reconciliation”.

“The international community as a whole must remain united around the United Nations and support the Libyans who are trying to resolve their differences through dialogue,” he said.

Source: TAP News Agency

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