On Monday, Tunisian President, Kais Saied, stated that his country “will not accept to be the guardian of any other country’s borders or to settle migrants on its territory.”
This came during his reception of the German Interior Minister, Nancy Faes, and her French counterpart, Gerald Darmanin, at the presidential Carthage Palace near the Tunisian capital, according to a statement from the Tunisian presidency.
Saied said, “Tunisia will never accept to be the guardian of any other country’s borders (not mentioned) and will not accept the settlement of migrants on its soil.”He reiterated his stance “on the necessity of adopting a new approach regarding the phenomenon of irregular migration, based on eliminating the causes rather than attempting to address the consequences.”
Saied also called for “joint efforts to put an end to this abnormal and inhumane phenomenon.”
Last Saturday, Saied stated that “the solution to the issue of irregular migrants’ flow will not come at Tunisia’s expense,” affirming that “his country will not be a guardian for (unnamed) countries”.
The interior ministers of France and Germany arrived in Tunisia on Sunday evening for an official two-day visit to hold meetings with Tunisian officials regarding issues related to irregular migration.
This visit comes a week after the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, the Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni and the Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, visited Tunisia, during which they met with President Saied.
Both Tunisia and the European Union announced, in a joint statement following the meeting, their agreement to work on a “comprehensive partnership package” to be adopted in a joint Memorandum of Understanding before the end of June.
The partnership program includes “enhancing economic and trade relations, establishing a partnership in the fields of sustainable and competitive energy, migration and bringing peoples closer together.”
In recent times, Tunisia has witnessed a significant increase in irregular migration to Europe, particularly towards the coasts of Italy, amid the repercussions of economic and political crises in the country and several countries in the region.