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US to Tunisia: Partnership depends on your commitment to democracy, human rights

Tunisian flag is raised up to the highest flagpole on the 61st anniversary of Tunisia's independence in Tunis, Tunisia on 20 March 2017 [Amine Landoulsi/Anadolu Agency]
Tunisian flag is raised up to the highest flagpole in Tunis, Tunisia on 20 March 2017 [Amine Landoulsi/Anadolu Agency]

The partnership between the United States and Tunisia depends on Tunisia's commitment to democracy and human rights, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken's Assistant for Near Eastern Affairs has said.

Speaking during a meeting with Tunisian President Kais Saied on Tuesday, Barbara Leaf said: "The partnership between the United States and Tunisia takes its strongest and highest levels when there is a shared commitment to democracy and human rights." She went on to stress the importance of implementing economic reforms.

During her meeting with the Tunisian Minister of Interior Taoufik Charfeddine to discuss security cooperation and combating terrorism, Leaf also stressed "the significance of human rights and the protection of the rule of law and freedom of expression for all Tunisians."

READ: Israel writer claims trade with Tunisia is growing

Leaf also met with Tunisian Minister of Defence, Imed Memmich, "to discuss the existing military partnership and the upcoming 36th Joint Military Committee (JMC) session, which aims to enhance cooperation regarding the common regional and global security challenges."

During his meeting with Leaf, Saied called on the American authorities to listen to their Tunisian counterparts to discover the real situation. "Tunisia upholds its sovereignty and refuses interference in its internal affairs," he said.

Saied also expressed dissatisfaction with statements made by several American officials in recent months.

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AfricaAsia & AmericasNewsTunisiaUS
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