In Tunis, the prime minister encouraged the authorities to pursue economic reforms.
Special envoy to Tunis,
Baptism of diplomatic fire for Jean Castex, on an official trip Wednesday evening and Thursday in Tunis. Covid requires, the Prime Minister did not wear for the first time his costume of representative of the French executive abroad until eleven months after his appointment, in a country he had never visited. He only knew Tunisia through the Tunisian community of Prades, his stronghold in the Pyrénées-Orientales, and his official exchanges with his counterpart Hichem Mechichi, whom he received in December in Paris. So in front of the Zitouna mosque, an essential passage in the Medina, Jean Castex remains stuck. “This is exceptional”, he slips to his wife, Sandra Castex.
The twenty-four-hour marathon visit, devoted to health, economic, security and diplomatic issues, however, almost came to an end, parasitized by the dysfunctions of emergency numbers in France. Ministers Gérald Darmanin (Interior) and Cédric O (Digital), present in the delegation, had to return to Paris, on the night of Wednesday to Thursday. Jean Castex ordered them to return to the interministerial crisis unit piloted, in his absence, by his chief of staff. The Prime Minister followed the meetings remotely, as early as 5 a.m. local time on Thursday morning. “French news continues and I do not lose sight of it”, he said, glancing vigilantly at his phone, before honoring his official appointments.
On the menu of discussions: the consequences of the health crisis, the economic development of Tunisia undermined by its debt, cooperation in the fight against terrorism and in the migration file, but also support for the Francophonie, training of young people
The head of government spoke at length with the authorities of this historic partner of France. On the menu of discussions: the consequences of the health crisis, the economic development of Tunisia undermined by its debt, cooperation in the fight against terrorism and in the migration file, but also support for the Francophonie, training of young people. In front of Tunisian employers, then at the end of the third High Cooperation Council held in the Kasbah, seat of the Tunisian government, Jean Castex praised the links between the two shores of the Mediterranean – of “Brother countries” – and encouraged Tunisia to continue to mobilize to implement its reform program, on which the payment of the loan envelope promised by Emmanuel Macron a year ago depends.
Of the 350 million euros announced, 100 have been granted to date. “France, with full respect for a friendly country, will spare no effort to support this work”, assured the French Prime Minister. The host of Matignon did not come empty-handed, since in the wake of the commitments made by the Head of State, he brought 120 tons of health equipment including 3 oxygen generators, 18 respirators, tens of thousands of masks and antigen tests, for a total of 3 million euros. Several agreements have been signed to boost investments. Of “Concrete modalities of cooperation” have been “Considered” in terms of security. Jean Castex, who paid tribute to the victims of the terrorist attack of March 2015 at the Bardo Museum, did not however wish to specify the details of the number of readmissions of radicalized Tunisian citizens.