Paris, May 17, 2011
Prime Minister François Fillon had a meeting at the Hôtel de Matignon this evening with the Tunisian Prime Minister, M. Béji Caïd Essebsi, who is on an official visit to France and is attending the Deauville G8 summit in a few days’ time.
François Fillon told his counterpart about the admiration aroused in France for what the Tunisian people were accomplishing. At these historic moments, France fully backs the political transition under way in Tunisia and hopes it is fully successful.
The meeting focused mainly on bilateral relations, which are excellent in every area. The Prime Minister repeated that France intended to remain Tunisia’s leading partner.
For 2011-2012, the French government has decided to release €350 million worth of loans through the French Development Agency.
Moreover, France, with her Tunisian partners, is currently implementing a bilateral action plan structured around the following three priorities: strengthening the rule of law, economic development and reinforcing ties with civil society.
The country’s 1,250 French companies, which employ over 100,000 Tunisians, are also contributing to Tunisia’s growth and economic development.
In addition, the Prime Minister reiterated to M. Béji Caïd Essebsi France’s wholehearted support for Tunisia being granted “advanced status” by the European Union as swiftly as possible.
Migration issues were also discussed, with François Fillon stressing the need for France and Tunisia to fight illegal immigration together.
Finally, the two prime ministers talked about Libya, particularly the very worrying situation at the Tunisia-Libya border./.