Voice of America (Washington, DC)

Tunisia: U.S. to Provide Loan Guarantees to Tunisia

The United States has announced plans to provide $500 million in loan guarantees to the Tunisian government.

President Barack Obama announced the aid in a meeting Friday with Tunisia's interim Prime Minster Mehdi Jomaa.

Obama said Tunisia was making the kind of progress that had been hoped for, despite the challenges that are part of any democratic process.

The new assistance comes in the form of a loan guarantee that will make it easier for Tunisia to borrow money on international markets. The United States offered a guarantee of $485 million in 2012.

The aid comes three years after Tunisia's pro-democracy protests drove longtime president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali from power, sparking a wave of similar uprisings across North Africa and the Middle East.

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