The Memorandum of Understanding between the European Union and Tunisia is to be considered a “model” for relations between the bloc and north African countries, Premier Giorgia Meloni said in Tunis on Sunday.
“We have reached a very important goal that comes after a lot of diplomatic work. The Memorandum is an important step towards creating a real partnership between the EU and Tunisia,” said Meloni after meeting with President Kais Saied in the presidential palace.
The Memorandum allows “an integrated approach to the migration crisis”, added the premier of the agreement signed on Sunday and covering five pillars: macro-economic stability, trade and investment, green energy transition, people-to people contacts, and migration.
“Italian diplomacy has long worked for this objective,” said Meloni, insisting that such a partnership “would have been unthinkable until a few months ago”.
“I say this with pride but also with gratitude towards the Commission.
The Memorandum is a starting point,” she explained.
Meloni returned to Tunis with European Commission President Ursula Van Der Leyen and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Sunday in the hope of signing off on the Memorandum of Understanding after two visits to lay the groundwork for an agreement last month.
The EU has promised a major investment package and diplomatic efforts to help Tunisia land a loan from the IMF to enable it to ease its severe financial crisis and avert the risk of a default.
The unstable situation in the North African country has been a major factor in a huge increase in the number of migrants and refugees arriving in Italy by sea this year.
Source : Ansa