UN chief pledges support for Tunisia during visit

Published March 29th, 2016 - 07:06 GMT
Tunisian Assembly President Mohamed Ennaceur (R) shakes hands with World Bank chief Jim Yong Kim (L) and UN chief Ban Ki-moon before their meeting in Tunis on March 28, 2016. (AFP/Fethi Belaid)
Tunisian Assembly President Mohamed Ennaceur (R) shakes hands with World Bank chief Jim Yong Kim (L) and UN chief Ban Ki-moon before their meeting in Tunis on March 28, 2016. (AFP/Fethi Belaid)

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, on Tuesday, stressed the UN commitment to work hand-in-hand with Tunisia on development, economic support and many other areas.

“The United Nations Country team will continue to work hand-in-hand with the government on development, economic support and many other areas,” he noted at a press conference at the end of a two-day visit to Tunisia.

“The UN will develop an economic co-operation agenda with Tunisia to support its efforts in development, employment and youth in order to reduce unemployment and combat poverty,” the UN chief added.

Ban is making a joint visit to Tunisia with President of the World Bank Group Jim Yong Kim part of a tour in the MENA region that also took them to Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.

The UN Chief said he believes in the success of economic and democratic transition in Tunisia, despite the great challenges and difficulties faced by the country, citing the deteriorating situation in Libya which has had a negative impact on Tunisia.

On funding, Ban Ki-moon said Tunisia could benefit of long-term loans with attractive rates as part of the New Initiative to Support the MENA region.

“Normally, these long-period loans are designed for poorest countries in the world, but in such countries as Tunisia and Jordan where there was a great impact of refugees, there will be exceptions” he noted.

The UN chief said he will seek additional funding for Tunisia, as part of financing designed for countries that are directly or indirectly affected by the issue of refugees.

During his visit to Tunisia, the UN Secretary-General had meetings with President Beji Caid Essebsi, Prime Minister Habib Essid and Speaker of the House of People’s Representatives Mohamed Ennaceur.

Ban Ki-moon said the meetings had discussed ways for the international community to support countries facing conflicts and instability.


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