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Tunisia and EU sign a 'strategic partnership' on economy and migration

Representees from the EU and Tunisa sign a "strategic partnership" agreement
Representees from the EU and Tunisa sign a "strategic partnership" agreement Copyright EBU
Copyright EBU
By Euronews with AFP
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The European Union and Tunisia signed a memorandum of understanding for a "comprehensive strategic partnership" on renewable energies, economic development, and irregular migration.

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Tunisia is a departure point for thousands of migrants crossing the Mediterranean to Europe. President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen welcomed the agreement designed to "invest in shared prosperity."

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte accompanied von der Leyen to Tunisia after the trio's first visit a month ago, during which they proposed this partnership.

This is "an important new step in dealing with the migration crisis in an integrated way", said Meloni, who invited Tunisian President Kais Saied to attend a summit on migration in Rome next Sunday.

According to Meloni, the partnership between Tunisia and the European Union "can be considered a model for the establishment of new relations with North Africa."

 Rutte, for his part, felt that "the agreement will benefit both the European Union and the Tunisian people," as the EU is Tunisia's leading trading partner and investor.

The agreement includes €105 million in aid to combat irregular immigration and €150 million in budgetary aid, at a time when Tunisia is strangled by debt and is short of cash.

Another €900 million could be provided to Tunisia in the form of loans over the coming years.

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