Tunisia – Visit by Jean-Yves Le Drian (21-22 October 2018)

Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian will visit Tunisia on October 21 and 22. In keeping with the relationship between France and Tunisia characterized by friendship and trust, he will renew his support for the reforms undertaken to consolidate the gains of the democratic transition and to promote the country’s economic growth.

This trip follows up on the bilateral commitments undertaken during the President’s state visit on January 31 to February 1 and preparations for the second meeting of the Franco-Tunisian High-Level Cooperation Council, which will be co-chaired by the French and Tunisian Prime Ministers in Paris in the first half of 2019.

Mr. Le Drian will meet with Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi, Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, and his counterpart, Khemaies Jhinaoui, as well as Minister for Development, Investment and International Cooperation Zied Ladhari.

The fight against terrorism and radicalization, migratory issues, and regional challenges – especially the partnership with the EU and the situation in Libya – will be among the topics discussed.

A French-Tunisian task force will be created to prepare for the Francophonie summit in Tunis in 2020. The minister will propose that Tunisia work closely with the French G7 presidency, especially on economic and security-related matters, and on preparations for the summit that will bring together the countries and civil societies of the Western Mediterranean in Marseille early next year.

The minister and his counterpart will discuss major bilateral issues. They will review new areas of operational cooperation on security and defense. He will reaffirm the need to strengthen the dialogue on migration and cooperation, especially with respect to consular matters.

On the economic level, the importance France attributes to training and providing jobs for young Tunisians will translate into funding by the French Development Agency to develop innovative projects in social and women’s entrepreneurship. France is providing this support for young Tunisian entrepreneurs as part of the €50 million fund announced during the state visit. With regard to higher education, the joint project of a Franco-Tunisian University of Africa and the Mediterranean will help strengthen employability, Tunisia’s status as an educational crossroads for Africa, and Francophone influence.