Riyadh Pledges $830 Million to Cash-Strapped Tunisia

Published December 16th, 2018 - 11:52 GMT
SaudiArabia King Salman Bin Abdulaziz and Tunisia Prime Minister Youssef Chahed (Twitter)
SaudiArabia King Salman Bin Abdulaziz and Tunisia Prime Minister Youssef Chahed (Twitter)

Saudi Arabia has pledged $830 million in aid and investment to cash-strapped Tunisia, following a visit from the North African country's premier to the kingdom.

Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed said that $500 million was expected from Riyadh to help balance its budget, $230 million to finance foreign trade and $100 billion for "projects", according to Reuters.

Tunisia has suffered from high-inflation and budget deficits, particularly after the economic woes triggered by a series of terror attacks in the country, which greatly affected tourism - a vital sector for government finances.

Tunis has introduced austerity measures to help balance the budget, but the government cuts have been unpopular with Tunisians and have not been entirely successful.

 

Despite being the only country to successfully emerge from the Arab Spring with a democratic system in place and relatively stable, Tunisia has moved closer to Saudi Arabia - an autocratic state - under President Beji Caid Essebsi.

Essebsi hosted Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman last month, when the under fire royal stopped in the kingdom in a bid to boost his regional credentials, triggering protests in the capital.

Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed also visited Saudi Arabia this week, in a sign of warming relations.

Prince Mohammed has come under fire following the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October, with U.S. and Turkish intelligence allegedly linking the royal to the killing.

 

This article has been adapted from its original source.


Copyright @ 2019 The New Arab.

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