18 January 2013

Tunisia, Portugal Willing to Diversify Co-Operation in Defence Field

Tunis — "Tunisia and Portugal will devise concrete projects in matters of defence industry, economy and training," Portuguese Defence Minister José Pedro Aguiar Branco told TAP news agency at the end of his meeting Friday in Tunis with Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali.

These projects are part of the outline agreement signed Friday between Tunisia and Portugal "to boost bilateral co-operation in the defence field," the Portuguese Minister pointed out.

For his part, National Defence Minister Abdelkarim Zbidi said co-operation between Tunisia and Portugal in the defence field dates back to some decades and it is today a matter of "updating" it through the signing of this outline agreement.

In this regard, "we intend to reinforce co-operation between the two countries' defence institutes and in matters of military health care," Mr. Zbidi pointed out, specifying that the meeting had also focused on bolstering bilateral co-operation as part of the 5+5 Defence Initiative chaired by Portugal in 2013.

The 5+5 Defence Initiative gathers the Maghreb countries (Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania and Tunisia) and 5 European countries, namely, Spain, France, Italy, Malta and Portugal.

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