On Thursday, French Prime Minister Jean Castex visited Tunisia as part of the French government’s efforts to boost cooperation.
In Tunis, Jean Castex met with his Tunisian counterpart, Hichem Mechichi.
Both delegations signed multiple agreements and discussed critical problems such as counter-terrorism, the stabilization of Libya and the Middle East, as well as illegal migration, which has been at the forefront of negotiations between the EU and numerous African nations for several years.
“In this context, I emphasized the importance for France and its European partners to expand collaboration with Tunisia in the area of migration, particularly the critical control of irregular migration flows,” French Prime Minister Jean Castex stated during a joint press conference.
Two boats carrying migrants sank off the coast of Tunisia just one day before the French Prime Minister arrived in the city. Two bodies have been found, while up to 20 more remain unaccounted for.
“On this occasion, we reaffirmed our determination as two nations to strengthen our existing collaboration in the fight against terrorism and crime, with increased coordination in the fields of security, training, and exchange of experiences, as well as the expansion of judicial collaboration and its mechanisms,” Tunisian Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi stated.
“There were also discussions about cooperating to manage organized migration in accordance with the 2008 Agreement on Consensual Management of Migration and Uniform Development and according to an integrated approach that takes into account all of the agreement’s obligations in order to strengthen Tunisian-French cooperation,” according to the statement.
In a meeting with Tunisian President Kais Saied, Jean Castex reaffirmed France’s commitment to aiding Tunisia in the fight against COVID-19 and to promote the economic changes required to overcome the pandemic’s deepening crisis.
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