Tunis/Tunisia — (TAP correspondent Maroua Ben Abdennebi)-"Irregular" migration to Europe should never be addressed through a security approach, said President Kais Saied. In a statement to TAP at the residence of Tunisian ambassador in Rome Moez Sinaoui, on the fringes of his official visit to Italy on June 16 -17, he indicated that it is necessary to consider the real root causes that incite women and even children to attempt the crossing to Italy, risking their lives.
"Migrating is not a choice for these people. It is poverty and precariousness that have pushed them to risk their lives to reach the other side. These causes must be tackled, and we must not forget the networks of smugglers and human traffickers that are present on the northern and southern shores," he added.
At the beginning of the 20th century, migration had been in the opposite direction, since Tunisia been home to a large Italian community, and to this day, Italians reside in our country. And this situation has never been a problem, he said.
"Migration has become selective," the Head of Stated pointed out, adding that in 2019, over 500 doctors had migrated to Europe. A specialist doctor is worth millions."
As regards the health issue, the President of the Republic specified that he had "candidly" discussed with the Italian authorities the huge disparities in the distribution of vaccines between the countries on the northern and southern shores of the Mediterranean.
"Vaccines have not reached 200 million in the south compared to more than a billion in the north, whereas the right to health is a human right," he stressed.
As for partnerships, Kais Saied underlined that "aid is welcome as long as it respects our sovereignty, calling for a humane approach in dealing with these issues."