Peace and diplomacy are options for Syria

NO global outrage rained down on the United States and President Donald Trump after the latter ordered a missile attack on Syria in retaliation for what witnesses claimed was a sarin gas attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in the northwest province of Idlib, a rebel stronghold since it was captured by Islamist militants in March 2015. Israel, Japan and Turkey, as well as the United Kingdom and the European Union gave the US action a nod of approval as justifiable and understandable. The dissenting voices came from Russia…

FM: meeting on Libya scheduled for March 1 in Tunis (interview)

Tunisia will host, on Monday, March 1, a meeting of foreign ministers of Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt to take stock of the outcome of contacts established by the three countries with the Libyan stakeholders ahead of a comprehensive political settlement of the Libyan crisis, Foreign Minister, Khemaies Jhinaoui announced on Wednesday. He added that the encounter will also prepare for the summit meeting of the three presidents before sitting the Libyan parties down at the dialogue table. In an interview with TAP, Jhinaoui said the president’s initiative on the Libyan…

Tunisia’s Challenging Transition: An Interview with Mehrezia Labidi

“No political party, no political actor is able to lead Tunisia alone in this very sensitive and fragile period.” What do you see as the biggest challenge to the Tunisian transition six years after the revolution? Six years after the “Liberty and Dignity Revolution” in Tunisia, the biggest challenge is how to improve the economy. How to meet the expectations of our population regarding development, jobs, healthcare, transportation, education, and so on. This includes how to deliver on the promises of democracy, because our newborn democracy came after the revolution.…

EU, North Africa green energy tie-up draws closer – Claude Ayache

An experimental project connecting renewable energy researchers in the EU with colleagues in Morocco and Tunisia could help pave the way for a market in renewable energy and energy efficiency that spans the Mediterranean, according to Claude Ayache, senior advisor for European affairs at the EU’s public-private green energy partnership, InnoEnergy. Why has InnoEnergy focused on a partnership with North Africa in the MAGHRENOV project? There have been two decades of effort to develop a European-Mediterranean innovation space in which people can collaborate and bring advances in research to market.…

German Interior Minister de Maiziere promises new system against terrorism

A new threat assessment system is intended to track potential terrorists and increase cooperation between authorities. Security has come into focus since the Berlin Christmas market attack. In an interview with German weekly “Bild am Sonntag,” German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said there would be better communication between the police and the judiciary with a new computer system. The system, called “Radar,” was jointly created by the University of Zurich and the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA). The system will assess the potential threat of Islamist terrorists as moderate,…

Zied Ladhari, Tunisian Minister of Industry, on building upon older relationships and developing new ones: Interview

What is the relationship between Tunisia and Algeria, specifically with respect to industry? ZIED LADHARI: Tunisians attach a lot of importance to the relationship with Algeria. Our histories since independence share many aspects. With respect to the economic aspect today, we hope to transform our historic and cultural ties into increasingly dynamic relations with Algeria and to use them to create real strategic partnerships. Currently, we observe that our economic relations do not reach our expectations, and we believe that there is a lot of room to advance in mutually…

Tunisian Prime Minister Chahed’Terror No Longer Has a Nationality’

The suspect in the December terror attack in Berlin, which killed 12, came from Tunisia. SPIEGEL spoke to the country’s prime minister, Youssef Chahed, 41, about terrorism in his country and the problems facing its fragile democracy. Interview Conducted by Clemens Höges SPIEGEL: Mr. Prime Minister, how did you react when you learned that the suspected attacker in Berlin was a Tunisian? Chahed: I was appalled by what happened to the Germans, and my first thoughts were with the families of the victims. But the perpetrator, Anis Amri, does not stand for…

Essebsi’s interview with Leaders Magazine: Tristate Summit to Resolve Libyan Crisis

President Beji Caid Essebsi said that  a tristate summit that includes Algeria, Egypt and Tunisia is being prepared to resolve the Libyan crisis. Essebsi announced that an initiative to  set the crisis in Libya has been launched, referring to meetings of ministries of foreign affairs that will take place ahead  of the upcoming summit. The President said during an interview with Leaders Magazine that “stability in Libya is of high importance” and that the Libyan issue  was discussed during his last meeting with Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. He laid emphasis…

Wided Bouchamaoui: We must not mix religion with politics

One of the most influential people in Tunisian democratic transition is Ouided Bouchamaoui, 55, the first female president of the largest businessowners’ association in the country Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicraft. With the National Dialogue Quartet, an alliance of four influential civil society groups, she helped lead Tunisia toward democracy after the Jasmine Revolution that oversaw the demise of a policestate in 2011. Initially, Tunisia’s transition to democracy was not smooth. The Islamic party Ennahda that won the first elections after dictator Zine alAbidine Ben Ali was toppled…

Ex-EU Commissioner for ENP: Factors Behind Morocco’s and Tunisia’s ‘Success Story’ – Civil Society, Domestic Politics and Openness to Learn

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with Štefan Füle (Former EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy) EUBULLETIN: European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) was an important part of your portfolio during the tenure in the European Commission. It is quite conspicuous that most of the countries involved in the ENP process seem to have been more stable 10-15 years ago than they are today, so there is an obvious question: What went wrong with the European Neighbourhood Policy? Štefan Füle: You know I wish the European Union had sometimes the power to decide about…