Talks of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Teodor Meleșcanu, with his counterpart from the Republic of Tunisia, Khemaies Jhinaoui

Type: 
Press release
Date: 
04/19/18

During April 19-20th, 2018, the Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Teodor Meleșcanu, makes an official visit to the Republic of Tunisia.

On the first day of the visit, the head of Romanian diplomacy had a meeting with his Tunisian counterpart, Khemaies Jhinaoui.

The two interlocutors exchanged views on the bilateral cooperation activities envisaged for the next period, under the auspices of this year's 55th anniversary of the Romanian-Tunisian diplomatic relations.

During the talks, Minister Teodor Meleșcanu underlined the intention of the Bucharest authorities to develop the political dialogue and sectoral cooperation with Tunisia, a traditional partner of Romania. He also expressed Romania's full support for this country, in the context of its efforts to strengthen the partnership with the EU, and in view of the organization of the EU-Tunisia Association Council on May 15th, 2018. He mentioned that dialogue with Tunisia is also useful in terms of Romania's preparation of the Presidency of the EU Council, which will hold in the first half of 2019.

The head of the Romanian diplomacy highlighted Romania's support for the transition process in Tunisia, the initiating state of the Arab Spring, which is at the outset of democratic regional transformations. In this respect, Romania is ready to provide assistance to the Tunisian side, particularly with regard to institutional building and vocational training, in line with the priorities identified by the Tunisian side. Minister Meleșcanu has shown that Tunisia can become a regional centre of irradiation of the rule of law, but also an economic model based on innovation and new technologies.

During the talks, they highlighted the importance of the parliamentary diplomacy and a closer bilateral cooperation was agreed by initiating mutual visits, benefiting from the functioning of the Romanian - Tunisian Friendship Groups at the level of the two Parliaments, as well as the establishment of a concrete timetable common activities.

In the context of the talks on the economic cooperation, the two interlocutors agreed that multiplying contacts between the two business communities is a first step in increasing trade and mutual investment, and welcomed stepping up efforts to organize a Joint Business Forum.

Particularly, the field of educational exchanges was approached, given that the Tunisian students in Romania (around 1700) represent the second community of students from abroad, after that of the young people from the Republic of Moldova. In this respect, it was stressed the importance of intensifying and connecting academic exchanges to the European ones.

The head of the Romanian diplomacy reaffirmed Romania's interest in cooperating closely with Tunisia in the field of combating terrorism and preventing radicalization. At the same time, there has been an exchange of views on topical international and regional issues, particularly with regard to Libya, Iraq, Syria, as well as on migration issues. Minister Teodor Meleșcanu expressed appreciation for Tunisia's efforts in combating terrorism and extremism, as well as in securing a security zone in the Southern Mediterranean. 

In support of intensifying bilateral co-operation, the two Ministers signed the Joint Commission Declaration on Romania-Tunisia, regarding a set of sectors of activity of interest for both sides: defence, home affairs, justice, economic affairs, education, tourism, decentralized cooperation. Also, the Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Diplomatic Training, the Executive Program on the Agreement of Cooperation in Health and Medical Sciences between the Ministry of Health of Romania and the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Tunisia for the years 2018-2020 and the Protocol for Cooperation between the National Agency Press - AGERPRES and the Tunisian Press Agency - TAP.