Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov’s Meetings in Tunisia
On a working visit to Tunisia from November 29 to December 2, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Mikhail Bogdanov held a detailed exchange of views with Tunisian leaders on bilateral relations and topical problems in North Africa and the Middle East.
The Russian representative was received by Moncef Marzouki, candidate for President agreed on by the country’s three main parties and leader of the Congress for the Republic party; Mustapha Ben Jaafar, chairman of the National Constituent Assembly of Tunisia; and Samir Dilou, a member of Ennahda’s political bureau in charge of external relations of the party.
The new leaders of Tunisia, who came to power in the country’s first democratic elections on 23 October, informed Bogdanov about the process of the political transformation of Tunisian society, and confirmed their strong disposition toward the active development of many-sided cooperation with Russia.
In the same vein, Bogdanov had a conversation with the leader of the opposition Progressive Democratic Party, Ahmed Najib Shebbi.
He also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tunisia, Mouldi Kefi, and held consultation with the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Khmais Jhinawi. The focus was on regional issues with emphasis on the developments in Syria, Libya, Egypt and Yemen and on the prospects for an Arab-Israeli peace settlement. Both sides noted the similarity of the views of Moscow and Tunis on the topics discussed, and expressed mutual interest in strengthening inter-MFA cooperation, including coordination of approaches within the framework of regional and international organizations.
In a conversation with Trade and Tourism Minister Mehi Houas, who is also co-chairman of the Russian-Tunisian Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation, the Russian side restated readiness to provide assistance to post-revolutionary Tunisia to solve the country’s socio-economic problems bilaterally and as part of the Deauville Partnership initiative. At the same time Houas expressed particular appreciation for our steps to expand mutually beneficial cooperation in tourism, which is one of the main sectors of the Tunisian economy.