Tunisia: Partnership Between Tunisia and WB Not Suspended, Pausing of Discussions Will Have No Impact On Country (Samir Saied)

Tunis/Tunisia — Minister of Economy and Planning, Samir Saied, on Tuesday denied the suspension of partnership between Tunisia and the World Bank (WB), the subject of a statement released by the Bretton Woods institution Monday.

"The position of the WB is clear. The institution has denied the suspension of relations. It is only a postponement of discussions on the next programme with Tunisia," he told reporters on the sidelines of a regional meeting held in Monastir and dedicated to the presentation of the 2023-2025 development plan in the governorates of the Centre-East.

He reiterated Tunisia's preference for a serene dialogue, referring to the campaign against the country, which remains a country of openness and a pioneer in the fight against racism.

The Minister considered that this postponement would not have a negative impact on Tunisia, recalling that the World Bank would contribute to the financing of the Tunisia-Italy electricity interconnection project.

He expressed his appreciation for the support of the World Bank and the African Development Bank for Tunisia's development.

The World Bank, on Monday, announced that discussions on its Country Partnership Framework with Tunisia, which defines the strategic orientations of operational commitments in the medium term (2023-2027), had been "temporarily paused" by management in the light of recent events concerning sub-Saharan migrants.

The World Bank Group President has conveyed an internal message to staff about recent events in Tunisia "which deeply concern the World Bank Group and its staff. The safety and inclusion of migrants and minorities is part of our institution's core values of inclusion, respect, and anti-racism in all shapes and forms. World Bank Group management has voiced this unequivocally with the government. It also took note of the positive steps taken by the government to ease the situation."

The World Bank Group's work in Tunisia "is devoted to helping create better lives for all people, whether citizens, residents, or immigrants. We remain fully engaged in our operations in the country, working for its people and with these values," it recalled.

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