Meloni makes his fourth visit to Tunis in a year

Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni will be making a stop in Tunis before heading to Brussels for the meeting of Extraordinary European Council. This will be his fourth visit to Tunisia in less than a year, the first being part of the Mattei Plan. Italian sources highlight Rome’s strong commitment to supporting Tunisia, a nation with historical relations of friendship and a key element in the stability of the Mediterranean and North Africa. Italy is actively promoting positive relations between the European Union and Tunisia, in line with the Memorandum signed on July 16, 2023.

Accompanying the Prime Minister on this visit will be the Minister of the Interior Matteo Piantedosi, the Minister of University and Research Anna Maria Bernini, and the deputy foreign minister Edmondo Cirielli. Further missions are expected to follow in the coming weeks. The visit will focus on dialogue with Tunisian President Kai Saied regarding key areas of bilateral cooperation, including the implementation of the Mattei Plan for Africa, migration cooperation, energy and economic cooperation.

Migration cooperation remains a central aspect of the relationship between Italy and Tunisia, with strong support at both bilateral and EU levels for efforts to combat smuggling and trafficking in human beings. Legal mobility for work reasons is also a priority, with a Memorandum signed between Italy and Tunisia in this area on October 20, 2023. Tunisia is a priority country of the Mattei Plan for Africa, and the visit will explore various areas of cooperation between the two nations.

During the visit, three instruments will be signed as part of the Mattei Plan, including agreements on direct support for the Tunisian state budget in energy efficiency and renewable energy, a credit line for small and medium-sized Tunisian businesses, and a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the field of university and research. The economic partnership between Italy and Tunisia is robust, with Italy being the top supplier and the second largest market outlet for the country.

A strategic project between Italy and Tunisia is the ELMED submarine electric cable, which will connect the electricity grids of Africa and Europe, opening doors for future investments in renewable energy. The ongoing cooperation and partnership between Italy and Tunisia are key for both nations’ development and stability in the region.

By Samantha Robertson

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