quinta-feira, 4 de junho de 2015

"The army of Tunisia is prepared to do his duty"

In what was the first official visit of Habib Essid to Brussels, the Prime Minister of Tunisia addressed the political and economic context of their country, but also the priority of safety, having appealed to Europeans to help combat terrorism.

Habib Essid: we managed to reach agreement on the increase in the ceiling on the loans that the European Union has assigned to Tunisia. We have emphasized the need to implement as soon as possible the commitments established with the European bloc, in particular as regards the various support programmes that have already been approved.

Euronews: what values are we talking about?

HO: there are 300 million euros in credits intended to strengthen the Tunisian national budget. On the other hand, there are about 100 million that will be invested in the extension of sanitation services, as well as in other social development projects.

Euronews: is it enough?

He: no, it's not, we ask more than what we have been given.

Euronews: what exactly is the amount that the Tunisia needs to rebalance its economy? Brussels may or may not provide this amount?

He: the answer to your question is that the Government of Tunisia is preparing the strategic financial plan for the next five years. The numbers will not be transmitted to the media because we're still evaluating what are the real costs that correspond to the needs of the country, within the framework of the support program that extends to 2020.

Euronews: Let's move on to the issue of terrorism.

HO: the Government took the initiative to implement a plan for fighting terrorism. There are several operations that were successful. But the most important in the fight against terrorism is the mechanism of cooperation that exists between the Tunisian State and neighbouring countries, as well as the European Union countries, with which the collaboration in this matter has been very close.

Euronews: within the framework of cooperation with the neighbouring countries, considers that Tunisian security forces are sufficiently equipped to fight terrorism?

He: the national army and the forces of law and order need more military material. It's a matter that we have addressed in the negotiations we have had with the European Union. To advance cooperation, it is essential that our army has equipment.

Euronews: to what extent can the Tunisians feel safe, knowing that lack military equipment the army?

He: the fight against terrorism is a priority of the Government. Is an absolute priority to maintain security on the border with Libya, where all possible measures were implemented. We have also a wide protection program of the sights of the country, to prevent possible attacks. This program extends to all Tunisia.

Euronews: spoke of the issue of Libya border. The Tunisian army is prepared for the possibility of a confrontation with terrorists, Islamic State for example?

He: the main mission of the Tunisian army is to protect the country against any foreign invasion, terrorist or not. The army is ready to fulfill his duty. Since coming to power, the Government considers that this is an absolute priority and, therefore, control mechanisms have been implemented against terrorists who try to cross the borders and arms trafficking. Our borders are well protected. Is a priority measure, especially since the last February.

Euronews: Tunisian President's visit to the United States had nothing to do with this issue.

He: the visit was several aspects. One of them was the consolidation of the capabilities of our forces of law and order. Another, was discussing with us officials ways to strengthen economic cooperation between the two countries, an initiative that will have a positive impact especially on job creation.

Euronews: feels that Europe and the United States are competing for Tunisia?

He: broadly speaking, Brussels supports our national policy, and the United States, our army. There is a balance.

Euronews: trafficking in illegal immigrants also by ports in Tunisia?

HO: there are very rare cases, usually does not happen. In 2011, we concluded an agreement with the Italian authorities to receive for our country people who reach its territory illegally through our waterways. All Tunisian citizens to reach Italy illegally are repatriated to Tunisia.

Euronews: would you like to leave a message to Europe?

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