Tunisia: President Marzouki Calls for Reviving Euro-Mediterranean Dialogue

Valletta — "It is necessary to give a fresh impetus to the 5+5 Dialogue," Caretaker President Moncef Marzouki said Friday in Valletta.

President Marzouki, who was speaking at the opening of the 5+5 Summit of Heads of state and governments of the Western Mediterranean basin countries, said "security in Europe depends on security in the Mediterranean."

"Europe is our destiny, he argued, adding that European countries "will find many opportunities in the region."

"We have an urgent need in matters of infrastructure and it will also be a stimulus for the European economy," he noted, citing a project to connect the Tunisian solar energy production systems to the European networks.

"The opportunities for co-operation and solidarity in European and Maghreb countries could help iron out the current difficulties we are facing," he emphasised, calling for ending violence and enhancing democratic values.

"For the first time in our history, we share the values of democracy," said President Marzouki at the opening ceremony of the first 5+5 Summit held since nine years.

The 5+5 Forum was launched in Rome in 1990.

"Tunisia is fully committed to economic and democratic transition and is willing to prepare the future with its Mediterranean partners," he stressed.

"The Mediterranean is not a boundary that divides us but a bridge which units us," he told heads of state and governments of five European countries (France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Malta) and Maghreb countries (Libya, Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania).

Mr. Marzouki also underlined that State institutions are not threatened by extremist Islamists.

"Tunisia has not fallen into the hands of Islamists but in the hands of democracy," he emphasised, stating that Salafists pose "no danger" to Tunisia.

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