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The European Union plans to increase support for Tunisia


At today's European Union foreign ministers meeting in Brussels, the situation in Tunisia and Libya was under discussion, as well as the recent nuclear agreement reached with Iran.

The European Union’s foreign policy leaders discussed the situation in Tunisia. The discussion was also attended by Tunisia’s Prime Minister Habib Essid and Foreign Minister Taieb Baccouche. According to Foreign Minister Marina Kaljurand, the meeting focused primarily on how the European Union could provide more support for Tunisia, both in the field of economy, as well as in the fight against terrorism. “It is clear, that Tunisia needs Europe’s strong support right now,” Kaljurand said. “It is extremely important to take into account Tunisia’s own expectations regarding European Union aid,” the Foreign Minister added. Estonia has helped Tunisian government authorities in building up e-services since 2012 and this process will continue.

Taking into account the fragile security situation in Tunisia, the foreign ministers believe it is important to increase cooperation in the field of security and to assist the Tunisian security sector in carrying out reforms. “Everything must be done so that the recent tragic terrorist attacks will not cause lasting repercussions to Tunisia’s transition process, which has generally started off well,” the Estonian Foreign Minister said.

In order to support the economic sector, there is a plan to move forward in the field of trade. “Beginning negotiations for a comprehensive and large-scale free trade agreement scheduled for October, would be a positive signal to investors regarding Tunisia's readiness to improve their trade and investment climate,” Kaljurand noted. “If the European Union would provide better opportunities for Tunisian agricultural products to access their market, this would be a concrete step with a positive impact,” the Foreign Minister added.

On the topic of political developments in Libya, the European Union's foreign ministers were pleased about the preliminary unity agreement entered into on July 11 and thanked the UN Special Representative Bernardino Leoni for the progress achieved so far in a difficult situation. “The political agreement which has been reached is a very important step towards resolving the long-running crisis,” Marina Kaljurand stated. “Hopefully, the unity government will be in place next, so that we can go ahead with EU support and cooperation regarding security and immigration issues,” Kaljurand added. The foreign ministers expressed their solidarity with Italy, whose four citizens were kidnapped in Libya.

According to the European Union foreign ministers, the Iranian nuclear agreement stands as proof that European Union diplomacy and multilateral diplomatic efforts can lead to a peaceful solution. In the opinion of the foreign ministers, the outcome of the negotiations, thirteen years in the making, shows very significant progress in terms of security for the Middle East region and the world at large, which could have a far-reaching positive impact.

The European Union Foreign Affairs Council adopted the EU's human rights and democracy agenda for 2015-2019, which Estonia supports, while considering cooperation between EU institutions and the Member States to be essential in implementing the action plan.


Additional information:

Marika Post

Press Spokesperson, Permanent Representation of Estonia to the EU

+32 474 98 16 57




(+372) 637 7654


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