Tunis/Tunisia — France will release 350 million euros in loans to Tunisia to deal with the crisis caused by the coronavirus, French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Monday in Paris.
"France continues to provide all its support to Tunisia, especially in the health sector through the training of health workers, the modernisation of infrastructures such as the construction of hospitals in Gafsa and Sidi Bouzid and the revival of economic activity," he added to the press, after a meeting with President Kais Saied at the Elysée Palace.
According to the French President, this loan is part of the commitments made by France to Tunisia to the tune of 1.7 billion euros until 2022 to act in the health sector and youth employment.
Besides, Macron said he had discussed regional issues of common interest with Kais Said, citing the Libyan case in particular.
"France and Tunisia together demand that the warring parties cease fire and keep their commitment to resume negotiations within the United Nations framework to restore security for all, reunite Libyan institutions and starting reconstruction for the benefit of all Libyans," the French president said.
He indicated that this is a difficult path that requires "everyone to show responsibility", assuring that France and Tunisia are "together" calling for a cease-fire in Libya.
In the same connection, the French president denounced Turkey's "dangerous game" in Libya, seeing it as a direct threat to the region and to Europe.
"I consider today that Turkey is playing a dangerous game in Libya and contravenes all the commitments it made at the Berlin conference," he told an audience of journalists, saying he had made "the same speech" in a telephone conversation on Monday afternoon with US President Donald Trump.
Emmanuel Macron also called for "an end to foreign interference and unilateral actions by those who claim to be winning new positions in the war" in Libya.
For his part, President Kais Saied, who is making his second official trip abroad, after Algeria, since his election in October, commended the "excellent" level reached by bilateral cooperation, calling for the identification of new concepts and mechanisms to further boost partnership relations.
"It is now time to heal the wounds of the past and reflect on the future," the Head of State said, calling, in this context, to open new horizons of cooperation.
President Saied also welcomed the support provided by France to Tunisia in several areas, announcing the idea of the forthcoming establishment of a railway to link the north of Tunisia to the south, without giving further details.
Earlier in the day, the Head of State held a meeting at the Elysée Palace with his French counterpart, focusing in particular on the Libyan crisis and the Tunisian-French draft resolution on the fight against the coronavirus. Tunisia currently sits on the United Nations Security Council.