Tunisia Reveals Business, Immigration Discussions with Italy

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By Walcot Aganu

Tunisian Foreign Affairs Minister Othman Jerandi recently held a phone conversation with Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Antonio Tajani to discuss bilateral ties and issues bordering on immigration.

This was made known in a statement released by the Tunisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the media in which Jerandi confirmed that the dynamism of Tunisian-Italian relations is within the framework of supporting the strategic partnership between the two countries.

“Since 2021, Italy has become Tunisia’s top investor in energy and the second-largest foreign investor, with 901 Italian companies operating in Tunisia with high capacity”, Jerandi said.

The two countries’ cooperation was strengthened by the announcement of an electricity interconnection project by sea between Tunisia and Italy, known as the ELMED Mediterranean power interconnector project, whose funding amounts to 307.6 million euros (around $331 million).

The two ministers also discussed opportunities for closer cooperation against illegal immigration and setting up mechanisms to encourage legal migration.

Italy and Tunisia have earlier agreed on a cooperation framework that respects Tunisia’s sovereignty to counter immigrations that may not be legal.

The Northern most country in African, Tunisia, is bordered by Algeria to the west and southwest, Libya to the southeast and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east; at the opposite side of the Mediterranean Sea across the Atlantic Ocean is Italy, hence the common usage of Tunisian’s coast to migrate to Italy in ways considered to be risky.

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