Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Tunisia Seeks to Change Structure of Ties with EU | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Tunisian Flag. REUTERS

Brussels- President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani has stressed the importance of the consolidation of ties between Tunisia and the EU, calling for joint action to achieve peace and development.

“We are all together in the Mediterranean basin,” Tajani told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper. “That’s why we need joint action for peace, development and the creation of jobs for the youth.”

The EU parliament will work next month on several issues to strengthen relations between the two sides in different sectors such as companies, diplomacy, economy, confronting illegal migration and terrorism, he said.

Tajani spoke to Asharq Al-Awsat on the sidelines of the Tunisia Week during which members of the EU parliament and their counterparts from the Assembly of Representatives of the People shared their experiences of parliamentary, legislative and representative good practices.

Free Trade was the main topic of discussion between the two sides during the Tunisia Week that concluded in Brussels on Friday.

Tunisia’s Parliament Speaker Mohammed Nasser told Asharq Al-Awsat that it was important for the agreement on Free Trade to come in favor of the two sides.

The current stage is witnessing negotiations on the matter, he said. “We are seeking to improve relations on the level of Free Trade … which requires rehabilitation of institutions.”

Asked about a timeframe for the start of Free Trade negotiations with Europe, Nasser said: “There is no timeframe but the two sides are insisting that the talks start soon.”

On the current partnership with the EU, the speaker told the newspaper that its framework does not fall in line with Tunisia’s needs and the level of relations it is seeking with the union.

In his speech during Tunisia Week, Nasser called on officials to make good on their promises to turn European loans into investments in his country.