Tunisia Has Never Sought France for Debt Relief - French Ambassador

Tunis/Tunisia — Tunisia has never sought France to have its debt, worth €1 billion, cancelled or restructured, French Ambassador to Tunisia André Parant said during a meeting with the press on the outcome of the 3rd High Council for Cooperation and the prospects of French-Tunisian relations, held Tuesday at the French residence in La Marsa.

Asked by the media about the possibility of initiating a Tunisian debt settlement process, the ambassador recalled that apart from the fact that Tunisia had not formulated a request in this regard, "there can be no cancellation or restructuring agreement except under the Paris Club."

The Paris Club is an informal group of official creditors representing 22 countries that hold large debts on several debtor countries around the world. Their role is to provide debt relief to help these countries restore their financial situation.

"As president of this club, France is bound to respect certain rules, which is why any debt relief agreement must be concluded within this framework," explained Parant.

He however considered that it is not in Tunisia's interest today to ask for debt relief as this could send the wrong message to financial markets.

"This would imply that Tunisia would be unable to repay its debts and thus deprive it of borrowing on the international financial markets. We assume that the Tunisian authorities are aware of this fact," he said.

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