Tunisia: Bouden, Meloni Discuss Migration and Economy

Tunis/Tunisia — Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, who is making a working visit to Tunisia at the invitation of President Kais Saied, was received on Tuesday by Premier Najla Bouden at the Government Palace in Kasbah.

The two parties stressed the need to ensure "joint coordination" in the management of the migration issue and to prepare the best possible "practical and concrete" perceptions, visions and proposals as part of a "comprehensive approach", according to a statement from the Prime Ministry.

This approach will have the merit of making it possible to find effective solutions to this phenomenon, to curb its growth, to understand its many facets and, finally, to decipher its causes and effects in a considered manner that respects the interests of the various parties involved, according to the same source.

During the meeting, the Prime Minister expressed the hope that this visit would give a fresh impetus to bilateral cooperation relations and economic and investment relations within the European Union.

It was also hoped that the visit would lead to a joint strategy to address the challenges facing the two shores of the Mediterranean, particularly in the fight against the negative effects of migration.

Najla Bouden took the opportunity to stress the importance of Italy's support for Tunisia in a number of areas, including investment, economic cooperation, particularly in the energy sector, renewable energies, energy transition programmes and the electricity interconnection between the two countries, and its role in creating a dynamic for cooperation, including with the European partner in general.

She expressed Tunisia's desire to further strengthen these relations in order to cover new areas of cooperation with Italy.

She also emphasised the importance for Italian companies operating in Tunisia to focus more on activities and investments in promising sectors with high employment and added value. She mentioned the hydrocarbons, gas and clean energy sectors as examples, in addition to Italy's continued cooperation under the "value chains" programme.

For her part, Meloni welcomed President Kaïs Saïed's initiative to hold a high-level conference involving all the countries concerned by irregular migration. The ultimate aim is to tackle the origins and causes of this scourge.

Meloni also expressed her satisfaction at the "higher level" of coordination and cooperation with Tunisia on the challenges and issues raised. She reiterated her country's willingness to stand by Tunisia, to strengthen its capacities and reform programmes and to promote the framework for this cooperation by seeking new lines of financing for Tunisia, whether with Italy, the European Union or the G7.

In this context, the Italian PM Welcomed Tunisia's role and the importance of its strategic position as a gateway to the African continent and a bridge for cooperation between countries in the service of common interests.

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