“Tunisia has always had partnership and cooperation channels with all its partners […] it is not in Tunisia’s diplomatic tradition to reject one partner for the sake of another,” Minister of Foreign Affairs, Migration and Tunisians abroad Nabil Ammar said on Tuesday in Moscow. Speaking at a press conference held at the end of his meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, Ammar pointed out that the country’s security and stability and the protection of the most disadvantaged social categories are red lines. “Tunisia is ready to hold talks with all its partners, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which must be at the service of countries and not the other way round,” he underlined. In answer to a question on the migration crisis in the Mediterranean region, Ammar pointed out that dealing with this situation is beyond the capacity of any single country. Tunisia endorses a global approach that requires the efforts of all stakeholders, to address the root causes of the current situation. Besides, the FM indicated that his meeting with Lavrov further helped review cooperation and political dialogue between both countries. Bilaterally, all cooperation fields are open to consolidation, and there are no obstacles to boosting cooperation after a slowdown due mainly to the COVID-19 health crisis, he added. Ammar underlined the two countries’ shared views on current international and regional issues, including the Palestinian cause, the Libyan file and Syria’s return to the League of Arab States. Lavrov affirmed for his part, that Russia supports the political reform process initiated by President Kais Saied to protect the State and reboot the Tunisian economy. At the economic level, Lavrov expressed the two countries’ willingness to foster cooperation in several fields, including high-tech and civil nuclear, and to explore new partnership opportunities. “Tunisia is one of Russia’s key partners on the African Continent, with trade between the two countries reaching US$1.2 billion in the first half of 2023,” he added. It was agreed in this connection, to increase purchases of Tunisian products, in particular agricultural products and textiles, and to endeavour to restore the number of Russian tourists to Tunisia, which had reached 600,000 before the COVID-19 crisis, he specified. Lavrov further indicated that it was also agreed to increase Tunisia’s purchases of Russian grain, saying that the first batch of grain had been sent to Tunisia. The delegation accompanying the FM in his two-day working visit to Russia includes the CEO of the Grain Office.
Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse