“France is always supportive of Tunisia’s development and democracy efforts,” Francois Hollande told media after his meeting with Prime Minister Youssef Chahed on Thursday at the Elysee, on the occasion of a first official visit to Europe.
The French President reasserted the support of France to Tunisia which “became a reference for the world and “has considerable advantages and strong growth potentials.”
Hollande pledged an exemplary cooperation, notably in security, and spoke about further intelligence exchange and a beefed up Tunisia-Libya border control.
The French Development Agency will support development projects in Tunisia, President Hollande also said.
In this respect, he urged French businessmen to massively invest in Tunisia given the country’s significant assets.
The French support for the Tunisian economy is crucial at a time when the tourism industry is going through hard times after last year’s terrorist attacks in Bardo and Sousse.
“I once again call upon my fellow citizens who love Tunisia to go and visit,” he said.
President Hollande laid emphasis on the conversion of Tunisian debts into investments and promised to promote the EU’s support for Tunisia.
PM Chahed said a part of Tunisia’s debts will be converted to fund the building soon of a large hospital in the governorate of Gafsa.