6 April 2014

Tunisia: U.S. Strong Support Dependent On Furthering Reforms, Gearing Aid Toward Investment - Jomaa

Tunis, — Interim Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa, Sunday, laid emphasis on the strong support lent by the United States to the Tunisian experience and its willingness to help it succeed "provided aid is not geared towards consumption but rather investments and serious reforms are introduced."

Back in Tunis after a four-day visit to the United States, Mehdi Jomaa held a news conference at the VIP lounge of the Tunis-Carthage International Airport.

He urged mutual aid among Tunisians and called upon them to show discipline, as part of law-abidance and for the sake of the country's interest, so as to chart a way out of the crisis which Tunisia is going through.

"We must address our problems and calm the situation to get continuous foreign support and seek a way out of the crisis. We ought to rely on ourselves essentially and then on our friends," Jomaa specified.

This government can work out temporary solutions till elections are held, he indicated. But the current state of affairs calls for far-reaching and serious reforms, more sacrifices and a comprehensive action plan, Jomaa cautioned.

The interim Prime Minister said his visit to Washington was "successful" and achieved its goals.

He described his meeting with American president Barack Obama as "fruitful."

The talk dwelt on the factors that helped ensure the success of the Tunisian experience which consist, as Jomaa put it, in the "openness of Tunisians, gender equality in terms of rights and duties, a quality education and the values of moderation in religion and culture."

In this connection, the interim Prime Minister spoke of US $ 500 million which the US pledged to Tunisia in loan guarantee.

He also shed light on an agreement which provides for "continuous and increased support to the Fund for the Development of Small Enterprises and Self-financing."

"The launch of the Tunisia-US Strategic Dialogue is likely to open up broad cooperation prospects for Tunisia and help gain access to the American market," Mehdi Jomaa highlighted.

The American administration is willing to promote the Tunisia destination, he added.

Lifting the travel warning to Tunisia gives "an important signal to investors and tourists the world over" and reflects the confidence of the US in the stability and security in Tunisia.

"Investment in Tunisia is based on a win-win principle since the interests of the country and investors are tightly linked," he underscored.

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