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Italy and Tunisia share vision to tackle illegal immigration, says foreign minister

January 19, 2023 at 12:12 pm

Migrants are seen after the arrival of the Geo Barents ship by Doctors Without Borders NGO at Salerno harbour, Italy on December 11, 2022 [Stringer/Anadolu Agency]

Italy’s foreign minister has said that his country shares a vision with Tunisia to tackle illegal immigration. Antonio Tajani made his comment during a visit to Tunisia on Wednesday.

Illegal immigration is the main focus of the talks between the two countries in light of a record wave of Tunisian migrants who reached Italian territory last year. More than 18,000 migrants arrived by sea, according to data issued by the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights, which touches on immigration issues.

“We have a common commitment and vision against illegal immigration,” tweeted Tajani, who met President Kais Saied at the Carthage Palace yesterday. “Italy is monitoring with interest the stability and development in Tunisia by supporting its economic growth.” He also announced the launch of a business forum to strengthen Italy’s links with Tunisia.

Before the visit, the foreign ministry in Rome demanded that Tunisia should demonstrate a greater commitment to combating human smuggling gangs and accelerate the deportation of migrants who live illegally in the North African country.

Data from the Tunisian Foreign Investment Promotion Agency shows that Italy is Tunisia’s second largest partner in terms of foreign investment, with about 900 enterprises and an operational capacity of more than 70,000 workers.

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