Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi is to pay an official visit to Tunisia in October to boost ties and discuss immigration and economic issues, an Italian delegation visiting the country said Thursday, September 13.
The head of Italy's Lombardy region, Roberto Formigoni who met Tunisian President Zine Al-Abidine Bin Ali on Wednesday, said illegal immigration was of particular concern to both countries.
"We know that all of Tunisia's attention is concentrated on this phenomenon, which concerns Italians and Lombardians," Formigoni said. Tens of thousands of Africans leave Morocco for Spain every year, with a similar wave heading from Tunisia to Italy.
Many Africans leaving Tunisia settle in the affluent northern Lombardy region with Italy's economic and financial capital Milan.
Italy is Tunisia's second largest trading partner after France. More than 450 Italian firms are represented in Tunisia, employing about 30,000 people. ― (AFP, Tunis)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )