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Tunisia/French support

Published on February 8, 2011
Statements by Michèle Alliot-Marie, Ministre d’Etat, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, during her joint press briefing with Ahmed Abderraouf Ounaies, Tunisian Minister of Foreign Affairs (excerpts)

Paris, February 4, 2011


During our meeting we talked, I believe, in an atmosphere of complete trust and friendship, and of course we discussed our bilateral relations, to which we’d like to give new impetus, because we want Tunisia to set an example and show the whole world that she is totally supported, embraced, backed by France, and of course Europe, at this time of change.
France is finalizing a support plan which we spoke about, but I told you that I first of all wanted it to reflect your expectations and priority areas of concern. So I’m keen for the Tunisian authorities to tell us their expectations. You told me that, in just a few days’ time, you’ll tell me what resources you wish to see deployed to support you. We’re ready to implement this plan very quickly and in close cooperation with you. I really think that, at this time, speed and practical measures are absolutely essential.

Of course, we also talked about relations between the European Union and Tunisia. We’d already spoken about this on Monday at the European Affairs Ministers’ meeting, when I suppose you could say I had personally pleaded for Tunisia, for both aid and support for these measures, but also – and I think it’s very symbolic and very important – for the process allowing Tunisia to be granted advanced status to be speeded up. Of course, the outcome of this is important, and I think it’s very important too as a message of trust the European Union will be sending Tunisia and the Tunisian government.

At Monday’s Foreign Affairs Council, Europe very clearly showed that it was ready to provide any aid called for, and obviously I’ll go on making sure that things are actually done. We talked about a number of other issues of joint concern, and a strategic vision in particular. (…)./.

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